Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of a petition filed by a 94-year old woman seeking directions to declare the proclamation of emergency of 1975 unconstitutional and has also sought Rs 25 crore compensation from the authorities involved in the process.
The matter came up for hearing before the bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, and Justice Hrishikesh Roy. The bench adjourned the matter to December 14 after petitioner’s counsel Neela Gokhale sought more time and informed the court that senior advocate Harish Salve is going to represent the petitioner.
“What kind of writ petition is this after 30-35 years!” questioned Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
The petition is filed by 94-year old Veena Sarin for the restitution of lifetime spent in utter misery and anguish on account of the atrocities suffered by her, her deceased husband, and her family.
The petitioner has also mentioned in the plea that the burial of the darkest chapter in Indian democracy is yet to provide respite to them.
The plea further stated, “The petitioner is aggrieved by the trauma and harassment faced by the petitioner and her family, including her deceased husband during the period June 1975 upon the declaration of emergency and the ensuing order passed by the then President of India under Article 358 and Article 359 of the Indian Constitution, 1950 by virtue of which the freedoms guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution and rights of the citizen to move any court for the the enforcement of their fundamental rights remained suspended till the withdrawal of emergency.”
The petitioner alleged that she and her husband were compelled to leave the country over the fear of being thrown into the jail. The petitioner has also alleged that the then government authorities seized all the gold arts business of her husband in Karol Bagh and Cannaught place which she claimed to be built with 25 years of work.
“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,” said the petition.
The petition further stated, “During the relevant period, she was shunned by her relatives and friends because of the illegal proceedings initiated against her husband and her life as she knew it, was abruptly put to an end by the circumstances of the unconstitutional emergency. Declare that the proclamation of emergency vide notification dated June 25, 1975, was wholly unconstitutional and actions pursuant to the same are illegal and unjustifiable. The petitioner may kindly be compensated to the tune of Rs 25 crores to be recovered from the concerned authorities as having participated in the unconstitutional acts.”