1975 Emergency unconstitutional? SC to look at plea

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 14

More than 45 years after thousands of people were jailed across India under an Emergency imposed by the Indira Gandhi government on the ground of “internal disturbance”, the Supreme Court on Monday decided to examine if the June 26, 1975, proclamation can be declared unconstitutional.

However, a Bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said, “We would be disinclined to open all such aspects as there may have been wrongs done to persons, but with the passage of almost 45 years, it would not be appropriate to re-open all those issues.”

But the Bench said it was not disinclined to see if a simpliciter declaration — “Something which is feasible or desirable after a passage of time and issue, restricted to that aspect” — could be issued.

It asked the petitioner to amend her petition and put all facts on record by December 18. The SC issued a notice to the Centre asking it to respond to a petition filed by Veena Sarin, a 94-year-old woman who urged it to declare the Emergency unconstitutional and grant her a compensation of Rs 25 crores after senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the petitioner, said he felt very strongly about the issue.

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