Indira Nehru Gandhi (smt) Vs. Raj Narain &Anr. (1975 AIR 1590) Case Summary

Facts:-

In 1971 Lok Sabha elections, Raj Narain lost with a great majority by contesting against Indira Gandhi in the constituency of Rai Bareily. Congress party won with a sweeping majority in Indian parliament. Raj Narain celebrated before the declaration of results expecting to win but the winning of Indira Gandhi shocked him. Narain, then filed a petition in Allahabad High Court for investigation stating that Indira Gandhi misused the Government services and armed forces to get elected. He accused Indira Gandhi for electoral malpractices such as bribe, used government employees for campaigning, usage of government machinery and state resources.

Issues:-

  • After filing the nomination, any help taken from the government officials or armed forces before the date does not seems to be corrupt according to sec 123(7) of people representative act, 1975. Is this applicable and valid in the present scenario?
  • Can the election be declared as a free and fair elections?
  • Whether the Keshavananda Bharathi case be taken as a precedent to decide the present case?
  • Whether judicial review to be taken into consider in election disputes or the legislator?

Judgement:-

The bench declared the judgement and held Indira Gandhi liable for the malpractice during elections on November 9, 1975. Our country is a democratic country. The basic structure of constitution to lead a healthy democratic country is free and fair elections under article 329(4) of Indian constitution. In the present case there is violation of the free and fair elections as stated in aforesaid article which violated the basic structure of our Indian constitution. The decision taken by the court in the present case was a dare step for all the corrupted parliament and the political leaders who felt that parliament is only the government. But the court clearly showed that not only the parliament even the judiciary will uphold the constitution for the harmful and wrongful acts done by the parliament.

The bench found Indira Gandhi for the guilty of electoral malpractices and declared the elections as null and void and barred Gandhi not to participate in elections for next six years. The court ordered the congress party to replace Indira Gandhi in her official post which led to fall of congress party after the emergency period in India. The Supreme Court also struck down the article 329(4) being the violation of basic structure of the Indian constitution.

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