Resignations row: Raj Speaker submits list of 81 Congress MLAs in HC

Jaipur : In the Congress MLAs’ resignation case, Rajasthan Legislative Assembly Speaker on Monday submitted in the high court here a list of 81 MLAs who resigned on September 25, 2022 and withdrew on December 31, 2022. He told the court that it is yet to be ascertained whether the resignations were ‘voluntary and genuine’.

The case was filed on the basis of a PIL filed by a BJP MLA.

Quoting a 79-page reply filed by a senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, R S Rathore, petitioner and deputy leader of BJP in the House, said in a statement that all the 81 MLAs told the speaker in writing that they did not give their resignations voluntarily. The speaker was also of the mind from the very first day that the fact of the resignation being voluntary and genuine should be examined”.

In the present case, the letters of 81 resignations of 81 MLAs out of which five were photo copies received by the Speaker were presented by the six MLAs. There is nothing on record which shows that even those six MLAs informed the Speaker that resignation letters were voluntary and genuine”, the reply said.

“As per the rule of 73 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Rajasthan Legislative Assembly, a perusal of rule 173 would reveal that a resignation is not required to be accepted instantly in all circumstances”, it was submitted.

“In terms of rule 173, a Member (MLA) has to handover the resignation letter personally and further informs the Speaker that the resignation is voluntary and genuine. The Speaker has no information or knowledge to the contrary, the Speaker may accept the resignation,” the respondent further defended.

“It is further submitted that even Independent of Rule 173 (4) of the Rules, resignation submitted by a member can always be withdrawn before its acceptance,” he added.

The Division Bench of the Rajasthan High Court will take up the case for hearing on February 13.

It is noteworthy that the DB on January 19 has asked the Speaker to file all related documents on 81 MLAs resignations by January 30.

The 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.