H C Singh

Judgment To Declaration Of Emergency

In 1971 General Elections, though Indira Gandhi had won from Rae Barely Constituency, socialist leader Raj Narain who disliked Indira Gandhi from the day she became PM, filed a petition in Allahabad High Court challenging Indira Gandhi’s election on the basis of corrupt practices she and , her party indulged during her election campaign by spending more money on her election than constitutionally allowed and also by using state machinery and state officials for her election campaign. For almost 4 years the case dragged on as both the sides through their advocates went on arguing before Justice Jag Mohan Lal Sinha.

It was only in March 1975 that India’s only Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi appeared in the Allahabad High Court and that too stood in the witness box, for almost 5 hours. It was an unprecedented ordeal for a person who was P.M. And that too the first lady PM of India.

In the meantime, Morarji Desai who had earlier contested against Indira Gandhi for the post of PM and had lost, had gone on fast in protest for continuation of President’s Rule. Indira Gandhi had already relented and had ordered fresh Elections which were held. While the votes were being Counted, justice Sinha, read out the Judgement in the case, field by Raj Narain in 1971. Justice Sinha though acquitted the PM on twelve charges, but she was found guilty of two charges viz that UP Government constructed high rostrum to allow her to address her election meetings from a dominating position and second that her election agent Yashpal Kapur was still in government employment at the time the campaign began. By the Judgement her election to Parliament was rendered null and valid. However the justice allowed Mrs Gandhi a stay for twenty days on the order, to allow an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Mrs Gandhi was upset by such a harsh judgment by a judge from Allahabad her Home Town where her father and grand father, in particular, had practised. Another disheartening event of those days was that Congress was losing in Gujarat which it had ruled Since 1951, the first election. Both JP and Desai waited for this day to condemn her and say that it would be ‘shameful’ of Indira Gandhi to continue as PM after such a verdict by the High Court which came after 3 years of arguments and counterarguments by lawyers of Indira Gandhi and Raj Narain.

During these 20 days Indira Gandhi’s yes-men like Bansi Lal, Haryana Chief Minister and Dev Kant Baroha Congress President and others brought thousands of slogan shouting by the transport arranged by these leaders at Indira Gandhi’s House where they even burnt effigy of justice Sinha. Indira Gandhi used to come out for a while and say a few words about conspiracy of her opponents in India and even Foreign powers to get rid of her as she was the only leader who could save India and Indian Democracy.

But eminent jurists like M.C. Chagla a renowned legal luminary who was once a Cabinet Minister in Indira Gandhi’s Government felt that Indira Gandhi was morally and constitutionally bound to step down from Prime Ministership to set a good example. But just a couple of days before the Supreme Court was to hear her appeal and give its decision, on 20 th June. Indira Gandhi chose to address a huge rally at Boat Club near Central Secretariat said among other things that the opposition wanted to eliminate her physically. It showed that she had made up her mind to stick to Prime Ministership come what may.

On 23rd June S.C. Granted constitutional stay of High Court judgment that she could attend Parliament till the final judgment of Sc but could not vote. Besides, Bansi Lal and S S Ray of West Bengal and many leaders of Congress Party and Congress Government, Sanjay Gandhi Indira’s elder son suggested or advised and even vehmently said that she should not resign, whatever the judgment of the Supreme Court. As all these Congress leaders had read Indira’s mind. On midnight of june S S Ray brought the proclamation of Emergency to Indira Gandhi which she approved willingly as she had been waiting for it since Supreme Courts interim order. She sent it to President at midnight 25th june for his signatures, who being a pliable President signed. So state of Emergency first time in Free India’s constitutional History was declared. Prominent leaders opposed to Indira Gandhi like JP and Muedji Desai and many others in Delhi and elsewhere were woken up and taken to jail. That might of Emergency 25th-26th all the power to the offices of News Papers and Press was switched off and simultaneously Police Force was deployed to arrest all the prominent leaders of opposition in Delhi before 6 AM. Thus 26th June is a black day for Indian Democracy and Indian Constitution.

Glaring Undemocratic Act by Congress Under Indira Gandhi

During 1972 elections congress won in 13 states including Bihar MP and Maharashtra. However in West Bengal Congress used all undemocratic means to come to power “mixture of terror intimidation and fraud. Gangs of hooligans stuffed ballot boxes with the police idly looking on. There was mass scale rigging in Calcutta – goondas paid by the Congress told voters assembled outside polling stations that they might as well go home, since they had already cast all the registered votes” (Quoted by Guha from eye witness account)

August 28, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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