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State of Uttar Pradesh v. Raj Narain

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Title: State of Uttar Pradesh v. Raj Narain  
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Subject: The Emergency (India), Raj Narain, Janata Party, Allahabad High Court, V. N. Khare
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State of Uttar Pradesh v. Raj Narain

The State of Uttar Pradesh v. Raj Narain (1975 AIR 865, 1975 SCR (3) 333) was a 1975 case heard by the Allahabad High Court that found the then-Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi guilty of electoral malpractices. Ruling on the case that had been filed by the defeated opposition candidate, Raj Narain, Justice Jagmohanlal Sinha invalidated Gandhi's win and barred her from holding elected office for six years.[1][2][3][4] The decision caused a political crisis in India that led to the imposition of a state of emergency by Gandhi's government from 1975 to 1977.[5]

Facts

[1]

Judgment

On June 12, 1975, Justice Jagmohanlal Sinha found Indira Gandhi guilty of electoral malpractices. Sinha declared the election verdict in the Rae Bareilly constituency "null and void", and barred Indira from holding elected office for six years.[2][3][4][1] While Sinha had dismissed charges of bribery, he had found Indira guilty of misusing government machinery as a government employee herself.[1] The court order gave the Congress (R) twenty days to make arrangements to replace Indira in her official posts. This was unprecedented. Its impact finally led to the fall of Congress regime at the centre immediately after emergency. Raj Narain became a national hero for overthrowing Indira's and Congress regime after 30 years of independence, initially by trouncing Indira in judicial battle and later in 1977 Loksabha elections. This fulfilled an unrealised dream of his friend and mentor Dr Ram Manohar Lohia. Indira appealed the verdict to the Supreme Court of India, which granted a conditional stay of execution on the ruling on June 24, 1975.[1] On November 7, 1975, the Supreme Court of India formally overturned the conviction.[6]

Significance

The Times of India compared the verdict to "firing the Prime Minister for a traffic ticket".[1][7][8] The Congress (R) also staged numerous protests across the country in support of Indira.[8] However, the verdict helped galvanize the opposition political parties, who demanded that Indira Gandhi resign from office immediately. Jayaprakash Narayan, the leader of the Janata Morcha, a coalition of opposition political parties, called for a campaign of civil disobedience to oust Indira's government.[2] On June 25, 1975, a state of emergency was declared by the President of India, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, upon the advice of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.[2][3] The government argued that the political disorder was a threat to national security.[9] Using the sweeping powers granted by the emergency decree, thousands of opposition leaders and activists were arrested, press censorship was introduced and elections were postponed. During this period, Indira Gandhi's Congress (R) used its parliamentary majority to amend the Indian Constitution and overwrite the law that she had been found guilty of violating. When the government finally called elections in 1977, the opposition Janata Party alliance defeated Indira Gandhi's Congress (R) party. Raj Narain defeated Indira Gandhi in the Rae Bareilly constituency by a margin of 55,200 votes.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Indian Emergency of 1975-77". Mount Holyoke College. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  2. ^ a b c d "The Rise of Indira Gandhi".  
  3. ^ a b c Kuldip Singh (1995-04-11). "OBITUARY: Morarji Desai".  
  4. ^ a b Katherine Frank (2002). Indira: The Life Of Indira Nehru Gandhi. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 371.  
  5. ^ "Justice Sinha, who set aside Indira Gandhi’s election, dies at 87".  
  6. ^ G. G. Mirchandani (2003). 320 Million Judges. Abhinav Publications. p. 236.  
  7. ^ Jawed Naqvi (2007-04-10). "A Revolving Door for Democrats, Dictators and Bankers". Counter Currents. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  8. ^ a b Katherine Frank (2002). Indira: The Life Of Indira Nehru Gandhi. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 371–79.  
  9. ^ Katherine Frank (2002). Indira: The Life Of Indira Nehru Gandhi. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 377.  
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