June 12 marked the anniversary of a 1975 High Court ruling that found Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi guilty of corruption.  BBC’s On This Day reproduced its contemporary article reporting on the verdict:

Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has been barred from holding office for six years after she was found guilty of electoral corruption.

But Mrs Gandhi rejected calls to resign and announced plans to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The verdict was delivered by Mr Justice Sinha at Allahabad High Court. It came almost four years after the case was brought by Raj Narain, the premier’s defeated opponent in the 1971 parliamentary election.

On June 26, 1975, in order to maintain power after the Court’s ruling, Indira Gandhi declared an Emergency, inaugurating a dictatorship. Invoking Article 352 of the Indian Constitution, Gandhi suspended fundamental rights, imposed censorship on the press, and arrested hundreds of political party leaders and activists opposed to her policies. In the following two years of the Emergency period, police imprisoned thousands of political activists as they regularly protested the imposition of Emergency.

Only in March 23, 1977 did elections remove Indira Gandhi from power and bring in the opposition united under Janata Dal.


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