On Monday while adjourning the plea filed by a 94 years-old widow, seeking for the Proclamation of Emergency in 1975 to be declared as unconstitutional and for a compensation to the tune of Rs. 25 crores from the authorities who have participated in the same, the Supreme Court noted; “What kind of a plea is this?”,Informed by Dr. Neela Gokhale, Advocate for the Petitioner, that the matter would be argued by Senior Advocate Harish Salve, a bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul was presiding over the matter.
What kind of a plea is this? After 30-35 years.” Justice Kaul remarked at this juncture.
Accordingly, the Bench proceeded to list the matter next Monday.
“The present petition is a plea for justice and restitution of a lifetime spent in utter misery and anguish on account of the atrocities suffered by Petitioner, her deceased husband, and her family”, drawn by Advocate Dr. Neela Gokhale and filed by Advocate-on-Record Anannya Ghosh, the plea avers.
The plea states relying on the 2017 judgment of KS Puttaswamy (Retd.) vs. Union of India which overruled the 5-Judge Bench decision in ADM Jabalpur v. Shiv Kant Shukla that the burial of the darkest chapter in Indian democracy is yet to provide respite to the Petitioner who suffered atrocities at the hands of the authorities during the Emergency period.
The petition recounts that the then government authorities, in their bid to plunder businesses and homes of victims, targeted the Petitioner and her husband with unjustifiable and arbitrary detention orders, and consequently led to them fleeing the country.
“His business was shut down, assets and valuables including immovable property was seized and appropriated. 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”.
The vide order dated 28th July, 2020, that the High Court directed for payment of arrears of rent for one of the properties to the Petitioner and other legal heirs. However, it has been contended that other valuable movable properties have been siphoned away.
“Needless to say, that the valuable movable properties have been siphoned away and illegally appropriated by many government authorities and private persons during the time of emergency. Ironically, the Petitioner’s son had the most unpleasant experience and was shocked to see a few of the stolen pieces of his mother’s jewellery up for sale in New Delhi”.
In light of this, the instant plea has been filed before the Supreme Court; The Petitioner at her advanced age has sought for the fulfilment of a simple desire to achieve closure to her trauma and receive an acknowledgment of her suffices.