SC says Arunachal Speaker right in accepting two MLAs resignations

New Delhi, Feb.9 (ANI): A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising of Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Adarsh K Goel today dismissed the special leave petition (SLP) challenging a Gauhati High Court judgment upholding the decision of Speaker of Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly in accepting the resignation letters of two MLAs — Wanglam Sawin (Khonsa East constituency in Tirap District) and Gabriel D Wangsu (representing Kanubari constituency).

Both MLAs had handed over their resignation letters to Speaker Nabam Rebia on September 16, 2015, saying that they were taking this step on moral grounds and without being under any kind of duress to do so.

The resignation letter was handed over to Speaker Rebia by the Whip of the Congress Party, and the latter accepted their resignation on September 30, 2015.

Subsequently on October 5, 2015, the two MLAs submitted a letter to the Assembly Secretariat, requesting the Speaker not to accept their resignations and to treat the same as null and void.

The Speaker, however, said, that he had already accepted their resignation letters on September 30 and notified it on October 1, and therefore, no further action was possible by him with regard to the matter.

Both MLAs thereafter approached the Gauhati High Court and obtained an interim stay of the Speaker’s order on October 7 from the then Acting Chief Justice Mr. K. Sreedhar Rao even before issuing the notice to the Speaker Legislative Assembly and without looking into the original records.

The Secretary, Legislative Assembly, immediately approached the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court remanded the matter back to the Gauhati High Court to hear the matter on merit and dispose the matter in two months time i.e. before January 14, 2016, the proposed date for Sixth Session of Sixth Arunachal Pradesh Assembly.

After deliberating on the matter, the Gauhati High Court bench consisting of Justice T. Vaiphei and Justice M. R. Pathak ruled on January 12, 2016 that “when the resignations were accepted there was nothing on record for the Speaker to raise a needle of suspicion pointing towards possibility that resignations letters of the petitioners were not tendered voluntarily.”

“After examining the case from all angles, we are satisfied that the Speaker has not violated any mandatory provision of law in not rejecting the resignation letters of the petitioners, and is rather correct in accepting the resignation letters of the petitioners. In any case, by such omissions, no prejudice is caused to the house or the public.”

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court declined to interfere with the high court judgment and dismissed the SLP. (ANI)

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