The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned a petition filed by a 94-year-old woman, seeking that the Emergency proclaimed in 1975 be declared “wholly unconstitutional”, Live Law reported. The woman also sought a compensation of Rs 25 crore from authorities who were part of the decision.
“What kind of plea is this,” a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul asked during the hearing.
Advocates Anannya Ghosh and Neela Gokhale, representing the petitioner, referred to a judgement passed by the Allahabad High Court in July. The order had directed the authorities to pay arrears of a property, which was subjected to proceedings during Emergency. The court said it will hear the matter on December 14.
The petitioner, Veera Sarin, said that she and her family were victims of the excesses of a “grave and dark period of our nation’s history” during the 19-month-long period of Emergency imposed by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, according to The Hindu. Sarin recalled that their gold jewellery and diamond business based in Delhi’s Karol Bagh and Connaught Place was plundered by the government authorities.
The plea said that her husband’s business was shut and he never recovered from the shock. “The petitioner’s husband succumbed to the pressure and died,” it added. “Since then the petitioner has been single-handedly facing all proceedings initiated against her husband during the Emergency period, which were arbitrarily pursued. Ironically, the petitioner’s son had the most unpleasant experience and was shocked to see few of the stolen pieces of his mother’s jewellery up for sale in New Delhi.”
Sarin said that civil rights and liberties were suspended in the 1970s, adding that it took years to get a partial compensation for the government’s “illegal possession” of their immoveable properties. “The petitioner is 94 years old and seeks closure to the trauma of her lifetime, which still resonates in her mind, “ the petition read.