Apex court dismisses plea of two rebel Arunachal MLAs

Apex court dismisses plea of two rebel Arunachal MLAs

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a plea by two dissident Congress MLAs of Arunachal Pradesh to retract from their resignation by asking them why they kept silent for 10 days.

A bench of Justices Anil R Dave and Adarsh K Goel dismissed the petition filed by Wanglam Sawin and Gabriel D Wangsu, challenging the January 12 order of the Gauhati HC, which upheld the Speaker’s decision.

Senior advocate L Nageshwar Rao, appearing for the two rebel MLAs, questioned Speaker Nabam Rebia’s decision to accept the resignations on September 30, saying he should have conducted an inquiry after he received their resignation letters on September 16.

“If I am saying I did not resign, the benefit of doubt must be given to me,” Rao pleaded, contending that the resignations were made under duress and coercion during the Congress Legislature Party meeting. The court, however, said, “All this can be said when the letters do not bear your signatures. We do not know as to whether it was part of any political strategy.”

“The Speaker cannot reject resignation letter without inquiry and no such inquiry is needed for accepting (them),” the bench added.

Rao, further, contended if an MLA can write that he is resigning “irrevocably”, referring to their letters, which stated, “I have not lived up to the expectations of my people and therefore don’t deserve to continue with this post and responsibility.” To this, the bench then remarked, “Politicians can do anything. After all, the politicians are also human beings.”

Rao insisted that 17 rebel Congress MLAs were forced to write letters on September 16 last year at the party meeting held at the behest of then chief minister Nabam Tuki, but the court remained unimpressed.
DH News Service

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