'Accept Independent MLAs resignations,' HC tells Himachal speaker

'Accept Independent MLAs resignations,' HC tells Himachal speaker

Shimla | The Shimla High Court on Thursday directed the Assembly Speaker to accept the resignation of three rebel Independent MLAs immediately and adjourned the case till April 30, even as the state Congress sought action against them under the anti-defection law.

In a fresh petition filed with Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania, Congress legislators Jagat Singh Negi and Harish Janartha argued that these MLAs joined the BJP even when their resignations were pending with the speaker which attracts action under the anti-defection law.

The three Independent MLAs, Hoshiyar Singh, Ashish Sharma, and K L Thakur, who had voted in favour of the BJP nominee Harsh Mahajan in Rajya Sabha polls on February 27, had resigned from the assembly on March 22 and joined the BJP the next day.

"The independents MLAs cannot join any party and in case they do they are liable for action under anti-defection law and we have urged the speaker to take such an action," Negi told the media here on Thursday.

The speaker told the PTI, "The process on the petition submitted by the Congress leaders has started and the three Independent MLAs have been issued notices, along with the copy of petition and asked to reply by May 4."

Meanwhile, the MLAs counsel, Advocate General Anup Rattan, said the arguments of their clients were concluded today, and the counsel for the speaker would submit his argument on the next hearing.

The speaker had earlier issued a show cause notice to these legislators and sought explanation from them by April 10.

According to a complaint filed by 10 Congress MLAs, including ministers, the MLAs had resigned under pressure and the circumstances demanded a probe.

However, the three MLAs moved high court on April 10, following which, the speaker said that the matter being in court, no decision can be taken till the case is adjudicated.

The petitioners have maintained that they had resigned voluntarily and their resignation should have been accepted immediately.

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