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Omar's conditional resignation has narrowed governor's options

india Updated: Jul 29, 2009 21:35 IST

IANS
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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, with his conditional resignation after being linked to a sex scandal, has limited Governor NN Vohra's options, says a constitutional expert.

"The governor as per the constitution of the state is not empowered to reject the resignation submitted to him by chief minister," renowned lawyer and constitutional expert Zafar Shah told IANS on Wednesday.

Abdullah on Tuesday submitted his resignation to Vohra, saying the allegations leveled against him by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should be probed and if found true, the governor must immediately accept his resignation.

The formal response from the governor is awaited but the chief minister was asked to stay on before Vohra flew to Delhi to attend a function.

PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig alleged on the floor of the state assembly that Abdullah was involved in the infamous 2006 sex scandal that rocked the valley.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the case, has already given a clean chit to Abdullah, and asserted that the chief minister's name never figured in the sex scam.

Following the resignation by the state chief minister, conditional or otherwise, the Jammu and Kashmir governor is constitution bound to invite the leader of the majority party in the assembly to be the new chief minister, the expert said.

The expert said the governor does not have an investigating agency under his control to probe the allegations.

"The governor can, however, draw his conclusions from the CBI's (clean chit)," Zafar Shah said.

"The constitutional option for the governor can be to ask Abdullah to reconsider his resignation in light of the fact that grounds on which the chief minister resigned were no longer relevant," he said.

In that case, Abdullah would withdraw his resignation.

The state also has its constitution which is applicable simultaneously with the Indian constitution.

Abdullah on Wednesday didn't attend to his official business and was also absent from the state assembly, indicating he has not withdrawn his resignation over the sex slur.

"He has also not sported any flag on his vehicle since he tendered his conditional resignation to the governor," an official source said.

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