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Patna HC dismisses 2 PILs challenging new Nitish government

Source: PTI
Last updated on: July 31, 2017 14:24 IST
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The Patna high court on Monday dismissed two petitions challenging formation of the new government by Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United along with the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying no intervention of the court is required after floor test in the state assembly.

The two PILs had challenged the formation of the new government on the ground that it had violated the judgment in the S R Bommai case.

After hearing all parties, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A K Upadhyay dismissed the two PILs saying, after floor test in the state assembly, no intervention of the court is required.

While one PIL was filed by RJD MLAs Saroj Yadav and Chandan Verma, the second PIL was filed by Jitendra Kumar who is a member of the Samajwadi Party.

The new Nitish Kumar government, in which National Democratic Alliance is a coalition partner, had comfortably won the trust vote on last Friday. While the ruling alliance got 131 votes, the Opposition had secured 108 votes in the vote of confidence.

B C Pandey and Bhupendra Kumar Singh, lawyers on behalf of the petitioners, argued before the court that Rashtriya Janata Dal, the single largest party, was not given a chance for government formation in violation of the Supreme Court judgment in the S R Bommai case and hence the oath of office and secrecy taken by ministers of the new government should be cancelled.

While Advocate General Lalit Kishore appeared on behalf of the state government, Y V Giri was the governor’s counsel and the Union government was represented by S D Sanjay.

Y V Giri argued before the court that once the floor test is conducted, nothing else remains as the party clearly proved its majority on the floor of the House.

The new government had furnished a list of 131 MLAs in support of the new government and they acquired the same number of votes during the confidence vote on Friday last which justified the governor’s decision to call them for forming a government, Giri said.

He told the court that the same procedure was followed recently in formation of government in Goa.

After hearing all the parties, the bench observed that no intervention was required.

On last Friday, lawyers of the petitioners had mentioned the two cases ahead of the crucial confidence vote and had prayed to the judge to cancel the trust vote since it violated the judgment in the S R Bommai case.

The lawyers had also prayed to the court to issue a directive to invite the leader of the single largest party to form the government.

Principal Additional Advocate General Lalit Kishore and Additional Solicitor General S D Sanjay had termed the PILs on July 28 last as “frivolous”.

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