Prime Ministers in court crosshairs

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 12 Maret 2015 | 08.20

1.

Indira Gandhi: First indian PM to appear before court

Indira Gandhi appeared before Allahabad HC on a petition filed by socialist leader Raj Narain (who in 1977 would defeat her from the same seat) alleging Indira misused official machinery during her election campaign Allahabad HC on June 12, 1975, struck down her election to LS from Rae Bareli on grounds of electoral malpractices.

The court order declared her election to LS void and also ruled she couldn't contest any election for next 6 years. Since a PM cannot continue in office beyond six months without being elected to either House, this effectively meant Indira would have to step down. She appealed against the order in Supreme Court, which stayed the order.

SC said she could be part of parliamentary proceedings but not vote. Emergency was declared within two weeks of the HC order During trial, Indira was in the witness box for five hours on March 18, 1975, 90 minutes next day Petitioner's counsel who cross-examined her was Shanti Bhushan.

2.

Rajiv Gandhi: Accused eight years after assassination

In October 1999, the CBI filed the first chargesheet in the Bofors case.

CBI named Rajiv Gandhi as one among several people who had a role in the scandal, but his name was put in column two. This meant there would be no trial against him, since he was no more. The case pertained to allegation that the Swedish arms manufacturer had bribed Indians in high office through middlemen to secure a contract for its howitzer field guns.

3.

Charges against Narasimha Rao

P V Narasimha Rao, whose tenure as PM will be better known for ushering in economic reforms and for the demolition of Babri Masjid, faced several judicial hurdles once he ceased to be PM in 1996 JMM Bribery Case. Most serious of cases was when a special court convicted him in 2000, along with Cabinet colleague Buta Singh, for conspiring to bribe MPs from JMM, among others, to vote for his government in a no-confidence motion in 1993.

Duo sentenced to three years' RI; fine of Rs1 lakh Delhi HC subsequently struck down trial court's verdict, acquitting Rao and Singh Lakhubai Pathak Cheating Case UK-based `pickle king'. Pathak accused Rao of having promised - in a New York hotel in 1983 - to ensure he would get a contract for supply of paper pulp and newsprint in India in return for payoffs to Rao, godman Chandraswami and his associated Mamaji. Alleged that while Chandraswami was paid $100,000, Rao did not keep his end of the bargain Original complaint filed in 1987 named only Chandraswami as accused. In July 1996 Pathak named Rao too as accused Chief metropolitan magistrate concluded there was enough evidence to proceed against Rao. Delhi HC upheld the view Supreme Court shifted the case to another court on Rao's petition Charges were framed against him.

In December 2003, over six years after Pathak's death, Rao, Chandraswami and Mamaji acquitted St Kitts Forgery Rao chargesheeted in September 1996 by CBI in St Kitts case in which documents were allegedly forged to make it appear as if former PM V P Singh and his son Ajeya Singh had an account in a bank in the Caribbean island Trial court discharged Rao in June 1997, saying there was no evidence of his involvement in the frame-up.


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