O Panneerselvam said after resigning as chief minister of Tamil Nadu that he is willing to withdraw it if the people want and party workers. The question is, can he do so even if he or the people of Tamil Nadu wish? Legal experts say that taking back the resignation is not an option once the governor has accepted it.
The governor too has very limited scope in such matters once he has accepted a resignation. At best he can direct Panneerselvam to continue as the care-taker CM. He can also direct him to prove his strength on the floor of the house. The other option before him is to let the leader with the maximum support to take over as the CM.
In this context, it would be interesting to look at a judgment of a high court, which had held that withdrawing a resignation is not permissible. Although this verdict was not delivered in a political context, it does define what a resignation is and whether withdrawing it is permissible.
The verdict read,"The term 'resignation' means the act of giving up or relinquishing office. A resignation must be unconditional and one with the intent to operate as such. In law, an employee has no locus poenitentiae (right to withdraw) to withdraw an offer of resignation after it was accepted.