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94-year-old widow moves Supreme Court seeking for declaration of Emergency as unconstitutional; demands Rs 25 crores as compensation

The petitioner alleged that government authorities in 1975 unjustifiably and arbitrarily seized valuables worth crores from her deceased husband's thriving business

A 94-year-old widow has moved the top court of the country to get the Emergency imposed by the former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975 declared as unconstitutional. The woman had also sought an amount of Rs 25 crore as compensationn from authorities involved in imposing and enforcing the Emergency.

Referring to the 2017 judgment of KS Puttaswamy (Retd.) vs. Union of India which overruled the decision of 5-Judge Bench in ADM Jabalpur v. Shiv Kant Shukla, the petition held that the end of the darkest chapter of the Indian democracy is yet to bring closure to the petitioner who had endured brutalities at the hands of those in power during the Emergency.

“The unconstitutional injustice has affected nearly three generations of his family,” the petition said. According to the victim, the situation deteriorated after her relatives and friends left them in the lurch. She alleges that the issues of the Emergency still resonates in her mind and she wants to peace by getting it declared as illegal.

Petitioner seeks justice for the lifetime of misery and perennial sufferings due to the Emergency

The petition filed by advocate-on-record Ananya Ghosh is seeking justice and restitution of a lifetime spent in misery and suffering due to the atrocities faced by the Petitioner, her deceased husband and her family.

In her plea, the petitioner argues that the then government authorities specifically targeted the petitioner and her husband with untenable and groundless detention orders, and they had to escape the country because of the government’s organised looting of businesses and homes of the victims.

The petitioner cited the Delhi High Court’s ruling passed in December 2014 which ultimately put an end to the proceeding against her deceased husband and stated that the valuables impounded from her husband’s prosperous and thriving business worth crores of rupees were yet to be returned.

Government authorities seized valuable worth crores from the petitioner’s husband

“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 petition stated.

The petitioner’s husband, HK Sarin, had a flourishing art and gem business in Karol Bagh and Connaught Place. However, shortly after the Emergency was imposed in June 1975, raids were conducted in commercial bases in Sarin and valuables, jewellery and artefacts were seized on suspected violations of the Customs Act.

At such an advanced age, the petitioner is seeking to put an end to her enduring trauma and receive acknowledgement for her sacrifices. It is to this end that the petitioner has filed a plea in the Supreme Court. The matter is likely to be heard on 7th December before a bench headed by Justice SK Kaul.

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