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House dissolution illegal, but poll to go on: SC
Onkar Singh in New Delhi and Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | October 07, 2005 11:15 IST
Last Updated: October 07, 2005 13:21 IST
In a landmark judgment, the five-judge Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court held that the presidential order to dissolve the Bihar assembly earlier this year was unconstitutional.
However, the court refused to interfere with the election process already motion and restore the dissolved state assembly.
In a majority judgment, the bench -- comprising Justices Y K Sabbarwal, K G Balakrishnan, B N Aggarwal, Ashok Bhan and Arijit Pasayat -- ordered that the 'status quo ante' cannot be ordered as the electoral process had already been set in motion.
'The Constitutional bench has gone into the laid down procedures wherein the court has refused to interfere in the electoral process once elections have been called by the Election Commission,' the bench noted.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary and noted Supreme Court advocate Arun Jaitley welcomed the apex court's decision.
Talking to reporters after the judgment, Jaitley said even if the court's verdict had gone the other way and restored the state assembly, then it would have been a win-win situation for the National Democratic Alliance.
Jaitley said the court had passes the severest strictures against the state and central governments, and demanded that Bihar Governor Buta Singh be recalled immediately.
BJP president L K Advani and NDA convener George Fernandes will call on President A P J Abdul Kalam on October 10 and apprise him of the situation following the Supreme Court order.
NDA's chief ministerial candidate for Bihar Nitish Kumar demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the recall of Governor Buta Singh.
"The prime minister succumbed to pressure, and from which quarters, is known to everybody," he said, adding, "Dr Singh should step down immediately as his contention that the worst type of horse-trading prompted the Union cabinet to recommend the House dissolution, has been proved wrong by the highest court of the land."
"We stand vindicated.... we had said the House was dissolved unconstitutionally and the Supreme Court too has accepted our contention," Nitish told reporters in Patna.
"The whole exercise (of dissolution) was motivated by political lust," he added.
Nitish also announced that the NDA will make this issue the main poll plank during the ongoing campagning in the state assembly polls.
"We will go to the people during campaigning with the apex court ruling and urge them to do justice with us," he said.
With PTI inputs