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'Govt erred by believing in Buta'

However, Congress contends that it has not been indicted by the SC. The crisis

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 22:01 IST

The Congress party on Tuesday admitted that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government had erred in accepting Bihar Governor Buta Singh's report on dissolving the Bihar Assembly last May.

The party, however, contended that it had not been indicted in the Supreme Court verdict holding the dissolution unconstitutional.

"If something is struck down by the court, it is obvious there is an error of judgement. If it was right, it would not have been struck down by the court," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Sanghvi told reporters in New Delhi.

At the same time, he asserted: "There is no indictment of the central government."

The government, Singhvi said, will accept the verdict with "humility". As for its consequences, "let's wait, it is for the Cabinet to decide", he maintained.

Holding that the central government had been "misled" on the basis of the Governor's report, Singhvi said: "Anybody who tries to exploit this politically is going contrary to the letter and spirit of the judgement."

In a 3:2 verdict, a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday termed as unconstitutional, illegal and mala fide Buta Singh's two reports to the central government on April 27, 2005, and May 21, 2005, recommending dissolution of the Bihar Assembly.

The court also slammed the Cabinet for taking as gospel truth the two reports and said their contents should have verified before hurriedly recommending to Kalam that the House be dissolved.

The Bihar elections held in February 2005 threw up a fractured verdict with no party getting a majority. President's rule was imposed on March 7. The House was subsequently dissolved on May 23 on the Governor's recommendation as no party or group staked a claim to forming a government.

First Published: Jan 24, 2006 11:03 IST