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'Sidhu's resignation letter not accepted'

india Updated: Dec 01, 2006 21:33 IST
Saroj Nagi
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Navjot Singh Sidhu's resignation from the Lok Sabha has not been accepted by Speaker Somnath Chatterjee as it was not given in the proper and required format.

Resignations of MPs are guided in Article 101 of the Constitution and the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business of the House Article 101 states that a member can quit his/her seat by submitting his resignation letter to the Speaker. The presiding officer has the option of rejecting it if he is satisfied that the resignation is not genuine or voluntary.

Under the Rules of the House, the member has to write his resignation in the prescribed format that does not allow him to give any reason for his resignation. Sidhu's resignation letter, on the contrary, gives the reason for his action.

Since the rules allow the presiding officer to adopt any procedure while dealing with a member's resignation, Chatterjee gets the member to sign his resignation letter in his presence to ensure that it is genuine and that the decision to quit was voluntary and not under duress.

He followed this procedure in the case, for instance, of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, JD-U leader Nitish Kumar and TRS chief K Chandrashekhara Rao. Congress MP Vivekanand Reddy's resignation letter was not accepted since the member dithered on signing on his resignation letter when the Speaker asked him whether he really wanted to quit.

Sidhu, on his part, handed to the Speaker's Office his resignation letter, which was found to be not in the proper format. The Lok Sabha Secretariat has conveyed this to the cricketer-turned-politician.

In his resignation letter, Sidhu said that in 18 years old case arising out of an alleged road rage, the High Court has passed an adverse order against him and will hear his lawyers on Wednesday with regard to the quantum of punishment.

"Without resorting to technical arguments with regard to what the quantum of punishment will be and my right to challenge the judgement in appeal, I tender my resignation as member of  Lok Sabha. I've always stood for truth and moral grounds and these principles are above any office or power that I hold," he wrote in his resignation letter.

According to Rule 246 of the Conduct of Business of the House, if the member gives any reason or introduces an extraneous reason in his resignation letter, the Speaker can use his discretion to omit such words, phrases or matter. While informing the House of the member's resignation, the presiding officer will not refer to such words or phrases.

Email Saroj Nagi: snagi @hindustantimes.com