Context: Recently, Election Commission (EC) recommended the disqualification of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren as MLA under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Disqualifications under the Constitution, a person shall be disqualified for being chosen as and for being a member of the legislative assembly or legislative council of a state:
- If he/she holds any office of profit under the Union or state government (except that of a minister or any other office exempted by state legislature),
- If he/she is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a court,
- If he/she is an undischarged insolvent,
- If he/she is not a citizen of India or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign state or is under any acknowledgement of allegiance to a foreign state, and
- If he/she is so disqualified under any law made by Parliament.
Article 327 and 328 of the Constitution confers the power on parliament and state legislature respectively to make rules for election to Parliament and state legislature.
Apart from these, the Parliament has prescribed several additional disqualifications in the Representation of People Act (1951). These include,
- He/she must not have been found guilty of certain election offences or corrupt practices in the elections.
- He/she must not have been convicted for any offence resulting in imprisonment for two or more years. But, the detention of a person under a preventive detention law is not a disqualification.
- He/she must not have failed to lodge an account of his election expenses within the time.
- He/she must not have any interest in government contracts, works, or services.
- He/she must not have been dismissed from government service for corruption or disloyalty to the state.
In such case of Disqualification, it is decided by the President/ governor for MP and MLA respectively and his decision is final. However, he/she should obtain the opinion of the Election Commission and act accordingly.
Anti – Defection Law – Disqualification on Ground of Defection
Source: Indian Express
Previous Year Question
Q.1) With reference to anti-defection law in India, consider the following statements: (2022)
- The law specifies that a nominated legislator cannot join any political party within six months of being appointed to the House.
- The law does not provide any time-frame within which the presiding officer has to decide a defection case.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2