The Rajasthan Assembly, in reply to the Rajasthan High Court on the Congress MLAs’ resignation case, said that resignations of ruling Congress MLAs were withdrawn individually before they were accepted. Hence, the resignations have become ‘non-est in the eye of law’.
The case on the issue was filed based on a PIL filed by the BJP late last year.
Advocate General M S Singhvi, who appeared on behalf of the Speaker and the secretary of assembly in the case yesterday, further said, “After withdrawal of resignations, the Speaker rejected the resignations of the members of the legislative assembly on 13-1-2023. Hence, the present petition has become infructuous”.
The assembly submitted that letters of resignation of 81 MLAs, out of which five were photocopies, were received by the Speaker presented by six MLAs. The petitioner is not correct in contending that there were 91 resignations.
“Rule 173 (4) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Rajasthan Legislative Assembly provides that before acceptance of resignation, a Member of Legislative Assembly can withdraw his/her resignation. Since all the MLAs have withdrawn their resignations before their acceptance, the resignations became non-est in the eye of law”, the reply justified.
On the objection of petitioner R S Rathore, deputy leader of the BJP in the House, that Advocate General cannot represent the Speaker under article 165 of the Constitution, the AG is required to advice the state government, the reply mentioned that the objection taken by the petitioner is not tenable in as much as the Speaker is also a constitutional functionary and he has been impleaded as party in this writ petition in his official capacity.
On certain other objections and seeking clarification of the petitioner Rathore, the high court double bench comprising Justice M M Srivastava and C K Songara will now hear the matter on January 20.
Rathore said, “The MLAs who resigned from the ruling party representing half the population of the state has left no stone unturned to make a mockery of the Constitution. First resigning and then withdrawing the resignation letter for the fear of going to the Legislature, it is proved that the people’s representative of the ruling party has completely insulted the democracy and the constitution for personal interests. In Article 190 3 (b) of the constitution, there is a provision for the MLAs to resign from the seat but not to take it back.”
It is notable 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 92 MLAs to the Speaker after three hours of political drama at Dhariwal’s residence in September month when two Congress observers Ajay Makan and Mallikarjun Kharge had come to hold CLP meeting.
The BJP, which has written a letter to the Speaker, met the Governor Kalraj Mishra with a demand that the Speaker should take the decision on their 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, MLA has 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, their demand letter underlined.