The courts should also take accountability for excesses like emergency | The courts should also take accountability for excesses like emergency » India News
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The courts should also take accountability for excesses like emergency | The courts should also take accountability for excesses like emergency

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Virag Gupta, Supreme Court lawyer

The Vohra Committee in its 27-year-old report revealed nefarious nexus of officers, politicians, industrialists and criminals for corruption. After that the leaders of all parties formed the government in the name of good governance, but no action was taken on that report. Terming a petition seeking action on that report as utopian, the Supreme Court judges quashed it recently. Now the same judges have pierced Barr’s hive by issuing notice on the petition declaring Emergency as unconstitutional.

Retired Chief Justice J.C. of the Supreme Court against the excesses of Emergency Shah submitted the report in 1978. In this, Justice Shah called Emergency with the Constitution as fraud. It is evident from the report of Shah Commission that the entire cabinet including Rashtrapati Bhavan, Cabinet Secretariat and Home Ministry were hijacked by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi. Prior to the Emergency decision, Prime Minister Gandhi had no discussion in the Cabinet.

According to the report of the Commission, at the behest of the then Home Minister, the public sector bank gave the wrong loan. After that, this trend has increased so much that now the burden of NPA is sinking most of the government banks. Approval was also given for the formation of special courts to act on the Shah Commission report, but the Janata Party government fell before the action.

President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi, the non-constitutional power center, are no more. Many Supreme Court judges and big bureaucrats also retired in the crimes of Emergency. So, who will be considered a culprit for the 45-year-old emergency and who will pay the compensation for it? For this, the courts will also have to introspect on blaming the leaders and seeking answers from the governments and failing on the role of the protector of the constitution.

Troubled by the wrongful confiscation of property by the government, the petitioner woman and her family have been fighting against the government in different courts for the last four decades. The petitioner has demanded damages of 25 crores from the culprits for his suffering? But, how can only the notification of emergency be attributed to the tragedy of an elderly woman who has been suffering for 45 years? The judges are considered to be the guardians of the Constitution and the people. But the delay in the disposal of crores of cases like the petitioner also brings the entire judicial process to the dock?

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has repeatedly made harsh comments on the petitions being filed and PIL unnecessarily. Whether or not the petition filed on the 45-year-old case may be considered, the Supreme Court judges will consider it after the debate by Harish Salve in the next hearing. With the increasing trend of arbitrary notices issued on such petitions, the jurisdiction of PIL and Article 32 of the Constitution now needs to be heard by the judges in the Chief Justice Conference.

The 94-year-old woman, in a petition filed in the Supreme Court, mentioned the oppressive laws like MISA, COFEPOSA, SAFEMA and DIR applicable during the Emergency period. Parliament always enacted strict laws to crush the anti-national forces. That is why the Kofeposa law is still in force today. Whereas MISA and DIR were replaced by new laws like the National Security Act (NSA).

A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court in the Emergency made the ADM Jabalpur or Habeas Corpus decision of 1976 to make public right to life second-rate. Disagreeing with that decision, Justice Khanna registered his name in history and 40 years later, in the judgment of privacy case, 9 judges completely rejected the ADM Jabalpur verdict. However, Justice Chandrachud and Justice Bhagwati involved in the ADM Jabalpur judgment later became the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

45 years after the Emergency, still today In all states including Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, the system of sending political opponents and media people to jail unnecessarily continues. In all such cases the law is not a mess, but the government system has become oppressive. Instead of the intellectual deliberations of the 45-year-old case, if the courts strictly act on these unconstitutional cases, then the country and the public will be more welfare. With the debate on the matter and the decision of the Supreme Court establishing the accountability of governments and the system of getting compensation from officers, the governance of the country can change without an effective Lokpal.
(These are the author’s own views)

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