Amidst rumours about imposition of President's rule in Uttar Pradesh, constitutional experts on Saturday categorically said that any such step would be against the mandate of the law and the apex court's ruling in the Bommai case.
"I don't think that dismissal of the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government will be justified at all…It will be a political decision taken in political interest," noted constitutional expert Subhash C Kashyap told Hindustan Times.
He said, "the constitutionality and legality of the continuation of state government depends upon whether it enjoys support of the majority of MLAs in the assembly or not.
So long as the Government enjoys the support of the majority it would be a legitimate government."
He, however, made it clear that "the majority of the Government has to be tested on the floor of the House and not in the Raj Bhawan or corridors of power in New Delhi."
The former Lok Sabha Secretary General said, "this is the Supreme Court's ruling in the Bommai case and is supported by the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission and the Constitution Review Committee."
Any decision to dismiss a state government that enjoyed majority on the floor of the House would be against the Constitution and political morality, he added.
Senior lawyer P N Lekhi agreed. "I do not have any soft corner for Mulayam but I feel that the President should not sign the proclamation for the Centre's rule in Uttar Pradesh because the state government still has the majority," he said.
When pointed out that the Congress leaders were quoting certain portions of the recent Constitution Bench judgment that disqualified 13 MLAs of BSP breakaway group to demand dismissal of Mulayam Government, Lekhi said, "Judgment has to be read in totality. The Court has not said the Mulayam Government is unconstitutional."
The veteran lawyer said, "whatever may have been the follies of the state government, it is not fair to muzzle democracy."
Another Senior Advocate KTS Tulsi said Mulayam may have lost the moral authority to rule the state but not the constitutional authority as he still enjoyed majority in the House.
The Governor could not and should not pre-empt the trial of strength on the floor of the House, he said.
When pointed out that the Governor has sent a report to the Centre expressing apprehension that Mulayam Government might indulge in horse-trading, Tulsi said, "it is just a speculative report and the President may not accept it." He emphasised that the right forum for trial of strength was the floor of the assembly.
Tulsi pointed out that in the Bihar assembly dissolution case the Supreme Court had examined the material on the basis of which the then Governor Buta Singh had recommended imposition of the President's rule and made some stinging remarks.
"If the report is based on just conjectures and surmises, it could be even worse and may not be legally sustainable," he added.
Email Satya Prakash: firstname.lastname@example.org