Plea in UP court on Ashwani Kumar, Bansal resignations

Lucknow, May 28 (IANS) An advocate here has filed a petition raising questions on a Congress leader’s statement that the decision to remove union ministers P.K. Bansal and Ashwani Kumar was a joint decision of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed Monday in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court by Lucknow-based advocate Asok Pande.

He has asked the court to direct the prime minister to explain the statement by Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi.

The explanation, he said, was needed because the removal of ministers was the sole prerogative of only the prime minister and the president. The claim that Congress president Sonia Gandhi was involved has led to a constitutional anomaly.

The petition has also asked for reinstatement of the two ministers because they have been removed forcibly while saying that they were resigning voluntarily.

“This is a contradiction of sorts and it needs to be explained in the eyes of the law, before the people of this country,” Pande told IANS.

The PIL has been listed for hearing Thursday.

Bansal was removed as union railway minister after his nephew was arrested accepting a bribe. Ashwani Kumar quit as union law minister after a rap from the Supreme Court for meddling with the status report of the Central Bureau of Investigation CBI) in the coal scam probe.

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