Home » Why was Indira Gandhi’s election cancelled 46 years ago by Allahabad High Court?

Why was Indira Gandhi’s election cancelled 46 years ago by Allahabad High Court?

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It is widely believed that the Allahabad High Court’s decision which came on June 12, 1975, Allahabad High Court Order against Indira Gandhi, It is believed that due to the decision of Allahabad High Court, Emergency was imposed in India.

Ground Report | New Delhi: On June 26, 1975, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi took to the radio to announce that the President had proclaimed the Emergency. The then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed at the behest of Indira Gandhi declared the Emergency on June 25, 1975, under Article 352 of the Constitution.

An election petition is a petition filed directly before the High Court to challenge the election of a particular candidate. Such a petition has to be filed within 45 days from the date of declaration of the election result.

The Representation of the People (RP) Act 1951 lists the grounds on which the election of a candidate can be questioned. Section 123 of the RP Act lists certain corrupt practices which, if proved successful, can be grounds for declaring the election of a candidate void.

While hearing an election petition, the High Court being a court of the first instance exercises the same powers as the trial court. Thus, there is cross-examination of witnesses and detailed examination of evidence which is usually employed in trial courts and not in high courts.

Interestingly, Gandhi’s election was invalidated only on two important findings. Most of the long list of allegations made by Narayan against Gandhi was dismissed by the High Court.

Let’s see what was the whole matter:

This story begins in the Lok Sabha elections of Rae Bareli in 1971. Indira Gandhi won a great victory, her rival Raj Narayan challenged her victory in court, this case has known as Indira Gandhi vs Raj Narayan, when the decision was to be taken on June 12, 1975, at 10:00 am before Allahabad High Court, Court Room No.24 had been completely filled, Justice Jagmohan Lal Sinha was eyeing the entire nation as he delivered the judgment in the case of Raj Narayan vs Indira Gandhi.

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But what is the reason for emergency in Country?

It is widely believed that the Allahabad High Court’s decision which came 13 days before the Emergency was declared led to the decision. Raj Narayan, who was defeated by Indira Gandhi in the 1971 Lok Sabha elections in Rae Bareli, moved the high court, saying Indira misused the government machinery to win the election. The court in its judgement on June 12, 1975, barred Indira from contesting elections and holding any position for six years.

Indira Gandhi filled the appeal against High Court Decision:

Indira filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the High Court’s judgement. The apex court upheld the judgement but it allowed her to continue as the prime minister. In the wake of the apex court’s judgement, Jayaprakash Narayan, also known as JP, prompted people to organise protests in order to demand Indira’s resignation from the prime minister’s post. Following JP’s appeal, global protests started taking place across the country under the leadership of the likes of Morarji Desai and JP.

Indira Gandhi was found accused in two cases:

Justice Sinha had given relief to Indira Gandhi in 5 issues that were made against Indira Gandhi in Raj Narayan’s petition, but on two issues, she found Indira Gandhi guilty. Indira Gandhi had misused government resources, after which she was disqualified from contesting election to the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha for six years.

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Indira Gandhi had decided to impose emergency:

In view of the protests and constant pressure from the opposition, Indira decided to impose the Emergency which ended on March 21, 1977. It is also believed that Indira took this decision on the advice of his son Sanjay Gandhi.

Finally, Indira had to give up her post of prime minister and Morarji Desai became the PM at the age of 81. Indira even lost the election from Rae Bareli and the Congress was reduced to just 153 seats.

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Supreme Court stay is not enough

A vacation bench of the Supreme Court on June 24 had allowed a partial stay of the judgment after Gandhi appealed against the high court’s decision. The interim order of the Supreme Court passed by vacation judge Justice VR Krishna Iyer states that she can continue as an MP (MP) in the Lok Sabha and be present in the House, but cannot take part in its proceedings or Cannot vote as MP. She could not even take any remuneration as an MP.

Importantly, the apex court allowed her to continue as Prime Minister and allowed her to speak and participate in the proceedings of the House and receive salary as per his capacity as Prime Minister.

The Supreme Court order, while not entirely against Gandhi, did not satisfy her. She wanted to put a complete stay on the Allahabad High Court’s decision. Since the Supreme Court did not allow them, a national emergency was declared the very next day on June 25.

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