Governor Tripathi has to exercise caution: experts

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on February 09, 2015

Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi

Asking Manjhi to prove majority first is Constitutionally prescribed route

Constitutional experts are asking Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi to exercise caution before taking the next step in the State Assembly.

Most of the leading advocates and experts BusinessLine spoke to said the SR Bommai case has clearly laid out the ways before the Governor, and that Tripathi should ask Jitan Ram Manjhi to prove majority in the Assembly.

Senior lawyer in the Supreme Court and Rajya Sabha MP KTS Tulsi said the Governor should not create any situation that is against the principle of the Constitution.

Not much scope

“There is not much scope for the Governor in this issue. The Chief Minister is expelled from his party. His party has staked claim for the government. The Governor should allow Manjhi to prove majority in the Assembly and invite Nitish Kumar to form the next government,” Tulsi said.

Another senior lawyer of the Supreme Court, Rajeev Dhawan, said the Chief Minister cannot be disqualified even if the Janata Dal (United) expels him from the party.

“Obviously, the Governor should ask the Chief Minister to win the confidence of the Assembly. If he loses the confidence, the Governor will have to see if there are any other alternatives to form the government,” he said.

Former Secretary General of Lok Sabha PDT Achary said the Assembly will have to decide whether the government is in minority.

To save himself from the anti-defection law, Manjhi will have to ensure that at least two-thirds of the JD(U) MLAs come out with him and merge with another party, Achary added.

“But it doesn’t look so. The Governor has no option before him rather than allowing Manjhi to face a trust vote and subsequently call Nitish Kumar to form the government,” he said.

Congress spokesperson and senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi said it is clear that the recommendation of a Chief Minister with “dubious majority” is not valid. “In this case, he was a minority even within the Cabinet,” Singhvi said.

He added that the Governor should ask the Chief Minister to take a floor test. “While the constitutional position is clear, the BJP may try to create a situation, which the Governor should resist,” he said.

Published on February 09, 2015

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