Nitish, Lalu quiet on anti-Buta verdict
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Nitish, Lalu quiet on anti-Buta verdict

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was studiedly noncommittal as the Supreme Court slammed Governor Buta Singh.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 15:20 IST

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was studiedly noncommittal on Tuesday as the Supreme Court slammed Governor Buta Singh for recommending dissolution of the house in May last year.

While the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) said the Supreme Court had vindicated its stand that the governor had misled the union cabinet in suggesting dissolution of the assembly, the chief minister refused to comment.

"I will not say anything on the issue as chief minister of Bihar. Now my party -Janata Dal-United (JD-U)—and coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will react. It is not proper on my part to react," Nitish Kumar said.

He was also cagey when asked if he would demand the governor's resignation.

Railway Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad said the court verdict was the last and final comment on the matter and everybody would have to accept it.

He also refrained from commenting on the role of Buta Singh in the dissolution of the house and said the governor's fate would be decided by the central government.

But Bihar's ruling NDA was more than vociferous in welcoming the verdict, saying it had exposed Buta Singh's role in trying to stop the JD-U and BJP alliance from coming to power.

"Now there is little doubt over Buta Singh's improper role in dissolving the house," JD-U leader Upendra Kushwaha said.

The BJP echoed the sentiment and said Buta Singh's decision had been proved wrong and a violation of the constitution.

In October, a five-member constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice YK Sabharwal declared a presidential proclamation issued in May to dissolve the Bihar assembly unconstitutional.

The detailed reasons were given on Tuesday with the bench, by a majority of three to two, declaring as unconstitutional, illegal and malafide the exercise of power by Buta Singh in sending two reports to the central government recommending dissolution of the house.

It said the opinion or perception formed by the governor had no basis whatsoever and his action was only to somehow or the other prevent Nitish Kumar from taking power.

The judges also indicted the union cabinet for taking as gospel truth the two reports sent by the governor April 27, 2005 and May 21, 2005.

It said the cabinet should have verified the facts contained in these reports before recommending to President APJ Abdul Kalam to dissolve the house hurriedly.

First Published: Jan 24, 2006 15:06 IST