Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 7
The Supreme Court on Monday deferred hearing on 94 year-old woman’s petition seeking to declare unconstitutional the June 26, 1975 proclamation of Emergency and grant her a compensation of Rs 25 crore.
“What kind of a plea is this? After 30-35 years!” a Bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul commented after advocate Neela Gokhale said that the petition would be argued by senior advocate Harish Salve. The Bench posted it for hearing next week.
Petitioner Veena Sarin said her petition was “a genuine desire to bring about an end to the undemocratic nightmare, infamously known as ‘the emergency’ and to seek “a peaceful closure, that can be brought only by an acknowledgment and declaration by the highest court of justice of the country in which citizens repose the highest level of confidence and faith, that the said incident was unconstitutional.”
She has relied on the 2017 judgment in KS Puttaswamy case which overruled the top court’s infamous decision in ADM Jabalpur versus Shivkant Shukla (1976).
She said “the present petition is a plea for justice and restitution of a lifetime spent in utter misery and anguish on account of the atrocities suffered by the petitioner, her deceased husband and her family”.
Recounting her agony, she said in their bid to plunder businesses and homes of victims, the government authorities had targeted her and her husband with unjustifiable and arbitrary detention orders which forced them flee India.
“His business was shut down, assets and valuables including immovable property were seized and appropriated. The Petitioner’s husband succumbed to the pressure and died. Since then the Petitioner has been single-handedly facing all proceedings initiated against her husband during the Emergency period, which were arbitrarily pursued, she submitted.
Sarin said the compensation money should be recovered from the authorities who have participated in misuse of powers during the Emergency.