Jaipur: Deputy leader of opposition in Rajasthan Assembly, Rajendra Rathore, filed a PIL on Thursday seeking judicial intervention in the matter of resignations submitted by around 90 Congress MLAs in September this year.
Assembly Speaker C.P. Joshi, and Secretary of the Legislative Assembly have been made parties in the petition.
Rathore himself appeared in the high court and presented the petition, which will be heard by a division bench in the coming days.
The petition has challenged the ‘indecision’ of the Speaker in not accepting the resignations submitted by the Congress MLAs on September 25.
Rathore said that due to the infighting and political crisis in the Congress, on September 25, around 90 MLAs supporting the Congress government in the state had challenged the party high command and decided to voluntarily resign from their seats. They submitted their resignations personally to the Assembly Speaker.
According to the petition, the Speaker did not have any information about the MLAs being forced to resign or that the resignation letters were forged.
So it was binding on the part of the Speaker to accept the resignations without delay under Article 190 (3) (b) of Assembly Procedure, Rule 173, the petition read.
It added that when around 90 Assembly members collectively decided to resign, it cannot be said that their collective wisdom had failed.
Two months have passed since then, but the resignation letters have still not been accepted, Rathore contended.
The ministers and MLAs who had resigned are still holding constitutional posts and are taking policy decisions by attending Cabinet meetings though they have no right to do so, the plea said
Rathore contended that these resignations have become effective even without being accepted by the Speaker because no procedure has been mentioned in Article 190 to withdraw such resignation once it has been submitted.
Under these circumstances, the ruling Congress government has lost the confidence of the House as the MLAs who have resigned have no right to hold public posts, the plea said.
Despite this, the MLAs are spending money from the MLA fund and making policy decisions with economic and political consequences by attending meetings of the Council of Ministers, Rathore said in the plea.
The Speaker himself had given verbal assurance to Rathore on October 18 that the matter would be resolved soon, the PIL claimed.
In this regard, the legal position prescribed and approved by the Supreme Court was also presented before the Speaker, which has also been ignored, it added.
Quoting the Shivraj Singh Chouhan vs Madhya Pradesh Speaker case of 2020, Rathore said the Supreme Court had rendered the decision that keeping the Council of Ministers continuously gaining the confidence of the House is necessary for the existence of the government and no delay in this matter is acceptable.
He also quoted the examples of Karnataka and Manipur Assemblies in this reference.