Lok Sabha Secretariat issues notice to three MPs under anti-defection law

NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha Secretariat has issued notices to MPs Shishir Adhikari, Sunil Kumar Mandal and K Raghu Rama Krishna Raju under the anti-defection law, sources said Thursday.

The notices were issued as Adhikari and Mandal were elected on TMC tickets but switched over to the BJP, while YSR Congress’ Raghu Rama Krishna Raju has been speaking against the party’s supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The TMC and the YSR Congress had approached Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla with complaints against the three MPs.

“The Lok Sabha Secretariat issues letter to Shishir Adhikari, Sunil Kumar Mandal and K Raghu Rama Krishna Raju, all MPs, in response to petitions received under Anti-Defection Law. They have been asked to give their comments within 15 days of the receipt of letters,” a source said.

The Tenth Schedule, popularly called the anti-defection law, was inserted in the Constitution in 1985.

It lays down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on the grounds of defection by the presiding officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House.

A legislator is deemed to have defected if he either voluntarily gives up the membership of his party or disobeys the directives of the party leadership on a vote.

This implies that a legislator defying (abstaining or voting against) the party whip on any issue can lose his membership of the House.

The law applies to both Parliament and state assemblies.

The decision of the presiding officer can be challenged in court.