Indira Gandhi V/S Raj Narain, 1975

H.R. Khanna
M.H. Beg
K.K. Mathew

This is a case regarding Election Disputes involving the Prime Minister and the purpose
of passing the 39th Amendment of the Constitution.

In the parliamentary elections of 1971, the complainant was declared a successful
candidate from the Rae Bareli constituency in Uttar Pradesh. She won the election by 1, 11,810
votes over her closest rival, Sri Raj Narain. Sri Raj Narain, Respondent No. 1 sponsored by the
Samyukta Socialist Party, filed an election motion u /s 80 r / w p.100 of the Representation of the
People Act in 1951 to challenge the election of the successful candidate to the Supreme Court
von Allahabad upheld the challenge on two grounds and denied the other grounds. The learned
judge also granted an absolute stay of 20 days.

The Honorable Supreme Court applied the doctrine of the basic structure established in
the Kesavananda Bharati case against the state of Kerala. It declared that clause 4 of Article 329-
A can be repealed for violating the principle of free and fair elections, which is part of the basic
structure of the Constitution, and abolishes the forum without providing for the other forum to
enter into the relative controversy the validity of the appellant's election and also prescribes that
said controversy will not be governed by any electoral law and that the validity of said election
will be absolute and, consequently, will not be susceptible to being assaulted, and extinguishes
both the right and the resource to challenge the validity of the aforementioned choice. According
to article 329 (b), electoral disputes must be presented to the authority established by law by the
legislature. raised in an electoral petition is such that it can only be resolved through a judicial
process, so clause 4 of article 329 A removes these rights and, therefore, must be repealed

The court held that the constitutional validity of a statute depends entirely on the
existence of the legislative power, and apart from the limitation laid down in Article 13 there is
no other prohibition on the Legislature. According to Article 368 It is within the powers of
Parliament to frame laws with regard to elections.

Parliament has the power to indicate whether certain expenses can be included or
excluded from electoral expenses, to adopt conclusive evidence regarding to matters of
appointment, resignation or termination of service, to declare what may be considered a for-
profit position, to declare what will and what will not constitute a corrupt practice Parliament has
the power to enact what will be the reason for disqualification, to define "candidate". Likewise,
given the retroactive effect of the legislative amendment, it is accepted as a valid exercise of
legislative power. The retrospective application of a law would cause difficulties for some or
other persons. This is inevitable. However, this is no reason to deny the legislature the power to
enact retroactive law. In the case of a law that has retroactive effect, the theory is that the law
was actually in force in the past and if the provisions of the law and general In their operation

there can be no challenge for them due to discrimination or injustice just because of them
retroactive effect.
He enlisted the assistance of official Uttar Pradesh government officials, namely the
district magistrate, the police superintendent, the executive engineer of public works and the
engineer Hydel, for the construction of the tribes and the arrangement of the power supply for
loudspeakers at during the meetings he addressed during his election campaign. He spent more
than the prescribed amount of money during his election campaigns. The Supreme Court held
that the word "candidate" in Section 123 (7) of the People's Representative (Amendment) Act,
1975, was defined as a person who submitted the nomination papers, later it was held that Indira
Gandhi submitted her papers of nomination on February 1, 1971, and therefore any assistance he
received from government officials before that date could not be considered a corrupt practice. .

According to Section 83 (1) (b) and 123 (6) of the People's Representatives Act of 1951,
Voluntary expenses of friends, relatives or sympathizers and expenses incurred by a candidate
The party of the party without any request or authorization of the candidate has never been
considered an expense by the candidate himself. The Court also held that, according to Section
77 of the People's Representation Act of 1951, the expenses incurred by a political party in
connection with the election of the party's candidates are not part of the candidate's electoral
expenses, in the same way Participation in the program of activities organized by a political party
will not be within the electoral expenses of the candidate of the party.

So, the five judge bench of the Supreme Court gave its orders regarding the above
mentioned issues, in accordance with the reasons mentioned above in the Application Section. It
was held that clause ‘4’ and ‘5’ of Article 329 A was unconstitutional as being violative of the
basic structure of the Indian Constitution.
Representation of People’s (Amendment) Act, 1974 & Election Laws (Amendment) Act,
1975 were considered to be legal, perfectly constitutional and free from all infirmities.

Election of Indira Gandhi, from her constituency Rae Bareli, was considered to be valid.
The Supreme Court set aside the judgment given by the Allahabad High Court, it removed all
corrupt charges levied against Indira Gandhi and acquitted her, thereby making her election


After a thorough examination of the justification given by the judges in this particular
case, and after reviewing the background of this case, I personally believe that the Judgment,
although it was academically and theoretically correct, but in practice and for reasons of Justice,
Fairness and Good Conscience was a failed failure. Corrupt practices as mentioned in Section
123 (7) of the People's Representation Act of 1951, and thus annulled his election, also
prohibited him from participating in elections for the next 6 years. Sinha, and then appealed to
the Supreme Court, meanwhile, she very ingeniously imposed the emergency on the nation and
then got many of her member opponents detained on remand, by doing this she was able to pass
the Thirty-Ninth Amendment Act of the Constitution with few difficulties. It also passed the 2
People's Representatives (Amendment) Act 1974 and the Election Laws (Amendment) Act 1975,
(will now be referred to as Amendment Laws 1974, 1975).

These three major amendments were clearly made to remove all grounds for which she
was found guilty in the Allahabad High Court. The Supreme Court in its ruling held that the
Amendment Laws 1974, 1975, were constitutionally valid as they were legislative rules and the
parliament had powers to amend them, but the judges should have noted that these amendments
were made for the sole purpose of eliminating everything type of charges from the head of Indira

1 Indira Nehru Gandhi vs Shri Raj Narain & Anr on 7 November, 1975
2 Indira Gandhi vs Raj Narain , Judgement Analysis