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HC showcause to Rajasthan Speaker over resignation by MLAs

The court gave the speaker and his secretary three weeks’ time to reply to the notice.

Statesman News Service | Jaipur |

A Division Bench of Rajasthan High Court, on Tuesday, issued a showcause notice to the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker Dr C P Joshi, along with his secretary, over en masse resignation by over 91 Congress MLAs. The court gave the speaker and his secretary three weeks’ time to reply to the notice.

A public interest litigation (PIL) was moved by Deputy Leader of Opposition (BJP) R S Rathore, the DB justices M M Shrivastava and Vinod Kumar Bharwani. The court, through the showcause notice, asked the speaker as to why this PIL should not be admitted.

Rathore filed the PIL seeking a judicial intervention in the matter as he alleged Speaker Dr Joshi was resorting to dilly dallying tactics instead of taking a decision on the issue of 91 Congress MLAs’ en masse resignation submitted to him on September 25 by the ruling Congress party.

It is worth noting here that Chief Whip of the ruling Congress and PHED Minister Dr Mahesh Joshi, Deputy Whip Mahendra Choudhary, CM’s advisor Sanyam Lodha, Parliamentary Affairs and UDH Minister Shanti Dhariwal had handed over the resignations of the 92 MLAs to the Speaker after three hours of political drama at Dhariwal’s residence in September when two Congress observers Ajay Makan and Mallikarjun Kharge had come to hold CLP meeting.

On October 18, the BJP MLAs submitted a letter to the speaker demanding an early action and acceptance of the resignations of Congress MLAs who boycotted their CLP meeting and protested against the Congress High Command’s one liner resolution. But as a matter of fact, “the speaker has not ensured any action on this matter,” Rathore pointed out in his PIL.

In the letter written, the BJP demanded that the Speaker should take a decision on the legitimate membership of legislator(s) in the House.

“In exercise of the powers conferred under the provisions of Article 190 (3) (b) of the Constitution, the MLA have resigned from the membership of the Legislative Assembly. Quoting other sections and provisions like 208, 173 (1 & 2) of the Constitution, the speaker shall accept these resignations with immediate effect,” the letter underlined.