Indira Gandhi vs. Raj Narain

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[pic]MANU/SC/0304/1975
Equivalent Citation: AIR1975SC2299, 1975(Supp)SCC1, [1976]2SCR347 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Civil Appeal Nos. 887 and 909 of 1975
Decided On: 07.11.1975
Appellants: Smt. Indira Nehru Gandhi
Vs.
Respondent: Shri Raj Narain and Anr.
AND
Appellants: Shri Raj Narain
Vs.
Respondent: Smt. Indira Nehru Gandhi
Hon'ble Judges:
A.N. Ray, C.J., H.R. Khanna, K.K. Mathew, M.H. Beg and Y.V. Chandrachud, JJ. Counsels:
For Appellant/Petitioner/Plaintiff: A. K. Sen, J.N. Kaushal, D.P. Singh, J.B. Dadachanji and R.H. Dhebar,Advs For Respondents/Defendant: J.P. Goyal, R.C. Divivedi, R.C.Srivastava, Pranab Chatterji and S.S. Khnduja, Advs. Subject: Election

Catch Words
Mentioned IN
Acts/Rules/Orders:
Indian Penal Code, 1860 - Sections 125, 126, 171, 171-A and 171-I; Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) - Section 197; Evidence Act - Section 114 Cases Overruled / Reversed: 
Kanwar Lal Gupta v. Amarnath Chawla (MANU/SC/0277/1974)
Prior History:
Appeals from the judgment and order dated the 12th June, 1975 of the Allahabad High Court in Election pitition No. 5 of 1971 Case Note:

(i) Election - Constitutional validity - Sections 125, 126, 171 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, Section 197 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, Section 114 of Indian Evidence Act and Constitution (39th Amendment) Act - appeal against High Court's decision invalidating appellant's election on ground of corrupt practices - meanwhile Parliament enacted 39th Amendment Act by withdrawing Court's jurisdiction over election disputes involving Prime Minister (PM) - amendment affected free and fair elections and judicial review - judicial review, democracy essential features forming part of basic structure of Constitution - exclusion of judicial review outright negation of right to equality - under guise of exercising legislative power Parliament cannot adjudicate on merits of election dispute - held, Article 329-A (4) inserted by 39th Constitutional Amendment Act struck down as it violated basic structure of Constitution.

(ii) Corrupt practices - Section 123 (7) of Representation of People Act, 1951 - corrupt practices under Section 123 (7) cannot be committed before there is a candidate - arrangement made by State Government for rostrums and loudspeaker in connection with election tour of PM not corrupt practice - voluntary expenditure by friends and relatives without any request cannot be deemed to be expenditure by candidate himself - allegations of corrupt practices must be judged by same standards as criminal charge - help rendered voluntarily by Government servant without any attempt by candidate does not constitute corrupt practice - held, respondent's election valid.

JUDGMENT
A.N. Ray, J.
1. In Civil Appeal No. 887 of 1975 the appellant is Indira Nehru Gandhi and the respondent is Raj Narain. Civil Appeal No. 909 of 1975 is the cross objection of the respondent. On 14 July, 1975 it was directed that both the appeals would be heard together. The appeals arise out of the judgment of the High Court of Allahabad dated 12 June, 1975. The High Court held that the appellant held herself out as a candidate from 29 December, 1970 and was guilty of having committed corrupt practice by having obtained the assistance of Gazetted Officers in furtherance of her election prospects. The High Court further found the appellant guilty of corrupt practice committed under Section 123(7) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 hereinafter referred to as the 1951 Act by having obtained the assistance of Yashpal Kapur a Gazetted Officer for the furtherance of her election prospects. The High Court held the appellant to be disqualified for a period of six years from the date of...
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