Politicians can do anything, said the Supreme Court Tuesday as it rejected a plea of two rebel Congress MLAs of Arunachal Pradesh who had challenged the action of the then Assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia to accept their resignations.
“The resignation letters bear your signatures… why did you (MLAs) keep quiet for almost 10 days (after submitting their resignation)?” questioned a bench led by Justice A R Dave while rejecting the appeals of MLAs Wanglam Sawin and Gabriel D Wangsu.
Appearing for the rebel MLAs, senior advocate L Nageshwar Rao argued that the Speaker should have conducted an inquiry after receiving their resignation letters. “I have never seen such kind of resignation letters in my whole life where the maker cannot take it back. The letters were written under duress and coercion,” Rao claimed.
The apex court, however, said: “All this can be said when the letters do not bear your signatures. We do not know whether it was part of any political strategy.” It added that no inquiry is needed for accepting the resignation.
At this, Rao referred to the content of the letters and asked whether an MLA can write that he is resigning “irrevocably” since he has not lived up to the expectations of the people.
“Politicians can do anything,” retorted the bench.
Rao replied that “politicians are also human beings”, and that 17 rebel Congress MLAs were forced to write letters on September 16, 2015, at a Legislature Party meeting held at the behest of then Chief Minister Nabam Tuki. He said that as these two MLAs were vocal against the Chief Minister, the letters were sent to the Speaker, who happens to be the cousin of the chief minister, and they were accepted.
The MLAs had alleged that on September 16, 2015, they were compelled to write the resignation letters at a Congress Legislature Party get-together. The resignation letters were allegedly handed over to the Speaker by the whip of Congress party later and accepted on September 30 last. On October 1, the Assembly declared their seats vacant. The MLAs then approached the Gauhati High Court, which upheld the decision of the Speaker to accept their resignations.