Role of a Whip

  • IASbaba
  • March 3, 2023
  • 0
Indian Polity & Constitution
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Context: A five-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud is hearing petitions filed in the wake of last year’s political crisis in Maharashtra.

About the Role of a Whip:

  • A whip is an official of a political party whose task is to ensure party discipline in the legislature.
  • Whips are the party’s “enforcers”.
  • The whip ensures that the members of the political party vote according to the party, rather than according to their own individual ideology or the will of their donors or constituents.
  • Every political party, whether ruling or Opposition has its own whip in the Parliament.
  • He is appointed by the political party and serves as an assistant floor leader.
  • Under the Tenth Schedule (anti-defection law) a political party has a constitutional right to issue a whip to its legislators.

Kihoto Hollohan vs Zachillhu case, 1992

  • The Supreme court held that the application of the Tenth Schedule is limited to a vote on a “motion of confidence” or “no-confidence” in the government or where the motion under consideration relates to a matter which was an integral policy and programme of the political party.
  • Paragraph 2(1)(b) provides for a lawmaker’s disqualification “if he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction

Historical background :

  • In India, the concept of the whip was inherited from colonial British rule.
  • The office of ‘whip’, is mentioned neither in the Constitution of India nor in the Rules of the House nor in a Parliamentary Statute.
  • It is based on the conventions of the parliamentary government.

Defiance of Whip

  • A legislator may face disqualification proceedings if they disobey the whip of the party unless the number of lawmakers defying the whip is 2/3rds of the party’s strength in the house.
  • This disqualification is decided by the Speaker/Chairman of the house.


Previous Year Questions

Q.1) With reference to anti-defection law in India, consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. The law specifies that a nominated legislator cannot join any political party within six months of being appointed to the House.
  2. The law does not provide any time frame within which the presiding officer has to decide on a defection case.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.2) Which of the following is/are the exclusive power(s) of Lok Sabha? (2022)

  1. To ratify the declaration of Emergency
  2. To pass a motion of no-confidence against the Council of Ministers
  3. To impeach the President of India

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3
  4. 3 only


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