Supreme Court to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook

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  1. The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on petitions filed by the rebel legislators of the ruling government in Karnataka.
  2. The plea seeks a directive to the speaker of the Karnataka state assembly to decide on their resignations from the Legislative assembly.
  3. During the hearing,Supreme Court said that the position and powers of the Speaker after the enactment of the anti-defection law in 1985 may require a re-look.
  4. The anti-defection law is contained in the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.It was enacted by Parliament in 1985. It came into effect on 1st March 1985.
  5. The purpose of the anti-defection law is to curb political defection by the legislators.The law applies to both Parliament and state assemblies.
  6. It lays down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the Presiding Officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House.
  7. There are two grounds on which a member of a legislature can be disqualified: a) if he/she voluntarily gives up the membership of his/her party and b) if a legislator votes in the House against the direction of his/her party and his/her action is not condoned by his party.
  8. There is an exception that has been provided in the law to protect the legislators from disqualification. The 10th Schedule says that if there is a merger between two political parties and two-thirds of the members of a legislature party agree to the merger, they will not be disqualified.
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