It violated the principles of natural justice: Allahabad High Court

Lucknow: In an order that could have adverse ramifications for the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government in Uttar Pradesh, a three-member Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court held that the 2003 ruling of the former Speaker, Kesri Nath Tripathi, validating the split in the Bahujan Samaj Party, was given in ``undue haste and in violation of the principles of natural justice.''

Forty rebel BSP MLAs support the Samajwadi Party Government. But soon after the verdict, Mr. Yadav won a vote of confidence without the presence of the Opposition.

Chief Justice A.N Ray, who dictated the order first, dismissed the BSP's petition seeking the disqualification of 13 of its deserting MLAs and upheld the order of Mr. Tripathi to recognise the breakaway group. However, Justice Jagdish Bhalla, in his order, with which Justice Pradeep Kant concurred, held that the Speaker had given the order in undue haste and in violation of the principles of natural justice.

He observed that the Speaker did not give adequate time for the petitioner to be heard properly.

The court held that the Speaker should decide the whole matter pertaining to the split in the BSP Legislature Party, the formation of a new outfit, granting it recognition and the disqualification of the rebels in the light of the order.

The Bench also quashed Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey's order dismissing the BSP's petition seeking disqualification of 13 deserting MLAs.

Forty BSP MLAs deserted the party and formed a new outfit at the time of the formation of the Mulayam Singh Government. The breakaway group later merged with the SP and Mr. Tripathi recognised the split and the subsequent merger.

The BSP approached the court challenging the decision of the Speaker.

A surprise

Amidst demands from the Congress, the BSP and the BJP, main rivals of the SP in the State, that Mr. Yadav resign, he sprang a surprise, by moving a confidence motion which was adopted in a division with the entire Opposition staging a walkout.

The motion was carried through with 207 votes in favour and none against.

The Opposition parties dismissed Mr. Yadav seeking the confidence as a fraud and said he had no moral right to continue in office after the High Court order.

Welcoming the judgment, BSP chief Mayawati demanded fresh polls in Uttar Pradesh and asked Mr. Yadav to quit politics.

``Mr. Yadav should refrain from going through a drama of confidence vote and submit his resignation,'' she said. PTI