Vinay Kumar

Any Government decision on Buta Singh's fate by Friday

"There was unanimity in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha" over Assembly dissolution Reiterates respect for Supreme Court judgment

NEW DELHI: The fate of Bihar Governor Buta Singh, indicted by the Supreme Court for recommending Central rule in Bihar last year, continues to remain in suspense.

Talking to reporters here on Wednesday night, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said he was still studying the voluminous judgment, running into 400 pages. Any decision by the United Progressive Alliance Government would be taken by Friday.

Mr. Patil, accompanied by Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj and Home Secretary V.K. Duggal, declined to set any time frame for taking action on the matter. "We have said we respect the Supreme Court judgment and how we will do it, we will let you know most probably by Friday."

Mr. Patil earlier held discussions on the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Mr. Bhardwaj. At a press conference on Tuesday, Mr. Buta Singh ruled out his resignation, saying he would take the salute at the Republic Day parade in Patna on Thursday.

Mr. Patil said Mr. Singh's letter recommending the suspension of the Assembly was widely discussed in and outside Parliament. "There was unanimity in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and many members even asked why the Government was not going for dissolution. But we cited the Bommai judgment and said it was not possible."

To consult others

To persistent queries whether the Government would ask Mr. Buta Singh to quit or recall him, Mr. Patil said: "I should not be sitting in judgment. Before taking into account, we have to consult others. We will respect the judgment. How we will respect that, we will let you know that"

Asked whether it would file a review petition, Mr. Patil said: "I am not going to talk about something on which a decision has not been taken."