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Looking Back: The Laws That Matter

Laws and regulations can make a decisive difference to ordinary lives as well as the economic health of a country. India has seen many such laws being passed in the last 35 years. Some, fortunately, have not been passed. The legal and judicial system in India is one of the most complex in the world. Most laws are antiquated and frustrating. Yet, there have been efforts in the last 35 years to make substantive changes

THE ANTI-DEFECTION LAW, 1985

So popular was he back then that everything that Rajiv Gandhi did promised to be worth gold if not gold dust. The Anti-Defection Law was passed by the Parliament in 1985 as a landmark legislation that would transform The nature and course of politics and India and bring horse trading to a halt. There were serious concerns that defections and purchase of legislators were destroying the very basis of Indian democracy. MLAs and sometimes MPs often switched sides and the reason was hardly ever ideological. “Aya Ram” and “Gaya Ram” had become popular terms to describe the situation. For example, in Haryana, virtually an entire party had switched sides to make a mockery of the mandate given by the voters. In the late 1970s, even Sharad Pawar had become notorious for abruptly switching sides. So everyone rejoiced when the anti-defection bill was passed.



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