Emergency should not have happened: Supreme Court

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“Emergency is something which should not have happened”, the Supreme Court on Monday said as it agreed to hear a plea of a 94-year-old woman seeking to declare as “wholly unconstitutional” the proclamation made in 1975 during the tenure of the then Indira Gandhi led Congress government.

The top court, which issued notice to the Centre, said that it would also examine whether it is “feasible or desirable” to make a simpliciter declaration of the proclamation after a lapse of 45 years.

“We are having difficulty. Emergency is something which should not have happened,” a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul observed while pondering over what relief it can grant after passage of such a long time.

The bench also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy said that the court would be disinclined to open all such aspects as there may be some wrongs done to persons, but with the passage of almost 45 years, it would not be appropriate to reopen all such issues.

It asked the petitioner to amend her petition by December 18 with respect to the prayer of declaration of emergency as unconstitutional.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for petitioner Veera Sarin, said that Emergency was a “fraud” and the “greatest assault” on the Constitution as rights were suspended for months. Emergency was proclaimed minutes before the midnight of June 25, 1975 by then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed at the recommendation of then government led by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The proclamation was revoked in March 1977.