Debating India


High Court sets aside split in BSP

Wednesday 1 March 2006

Opposition, Congress seek Mulayam’s resignation

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MORE TO THIS SMILE: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and Opposition Leader Lalji Tandon at the Vidhan Bhavan in Lucknow on Tuesday.

Lucknow: Dealing a blow to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday set aside the split in the Bahujan Samaj Party whose 40 rebel MLAs support the Samajwadi Party government. However, Mr. Yadav, in a counter-move, won a vote of confidence without the Opposition’s presence.

In an order that could have adverse ramifications for the government, a three-member Lucknow bench of the High Court, in a 2-1 verdict, held that former Speaker Kesri Nath Tripathi’s ruling validating the split in BSP in 2003 was given in ``undue haste and in violation of the principles of natural justice.’’

Chief Justice A N Ray, who dictated the order first, dismissed BSP’s petition seeking disqualification of 13 of its deserting MLAs and upheld the order of the then Speaker Tripathi to recognise the breakaway group.

However, Justice Jagdish Bhalla, in his order, which was concurred by Justice Pradeep Kant, held that the Speaker had given the order in undue haste and in violation of principles of natural justice.

He observed that the Speaker did not give adequate time to the petitioner to be heard properly and pronounced his decision in haste.

The court held that the Speaker should decide the whole matter pertaining to the split in BSP Legislature Party, formation of a new outfit, granting it recognition and their disqualification in the light of the order.

The bench also quashed present Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey’s order dismissing BSP’s petition seeking disqualification of its 13 deserting MLAs.

Forty BSP MLAs deserted the party and formed a new outfit at the time of formation of Yadav government. The breakaway group later merged with SP and Mr. Tripathi recognised the split and the subsequent merger.

Meanwhile, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress demanded the resignation of the Chief Minister ``on moral grounds’’ following the High Court verdict.

BSP legislature party leader Swami Prasad Maurya while terming the verdict as their moral victory said the Chief Minister had no moral rights to remain in office. ``The 2-1 verdict of the larger bench of the High Court in favour of the BSP proves that the SP government was formed on shaky grounds,’’ he said.

Expressing similar sentiments, UPCC president Salman Khurshid said Mr Yadav had no moral grounds to remain in power. Congress Legislature Party leader Pramod Tiwari said the confidence motion moved by the Chief Minister had no constitutional sanctity. ``A confidence motion is moved only if demanded by the President or the Governor,’’ he said.

He claimed that the Opposition could call for a no-confidence motion even after the confidence vote. ``The no-confidence motion can be sought only after six months of a previous similar motion, but there is no time limit in calling for a no-confidence motion after a confidence vote has been sought,’’ he explained.

The BJP, while refusing to make a major statement, said the Chief Minister had no moral grounds to continue in office as his government was in a minority. - PTI, UNI

See online : The Hindu

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