Union Minister Shri Arun Jaitley narrates the tyranny of Emergency
Nazi leader Joachim Ribbentrop, who later became Hitler’s External Affairs Minister, spoke on the need for a new legal system. He argued that the system needed to be replaced because “Adolf Hitler too, like any other common mortal could be tried under the same paragraph of penal law”. Indira Gandhi’s 39th amendment to the Constitution making the election of the Prime Minister non-challengeable and a Prime Minister non-prosecutable actually implemented this suggestion. The Swaran Singh Committee brought in several changes in the Constitution through the 42nd Constitution Amendment.
The election case turned out to be another judicial monstrosity. Both the Constitution and the Representation of People Act were amended retrospectively in order to legislatively validate Mrs. Gandhi’s election. The laborious Shanti Bhushan did not give up. He argued that a free and fair election was a part of the basic structure of the Constitution and validating an invalid election would violate the basic structure of the Constitution. But Supreme Court created a legal jigsaw to help Mrs. Gandhi. The basic structure theory could be used only to test a Constitution amendment and not an ordinary law. So they struck down the Thirty-ninth Amendment to the Constitution but held that ordinary legislation could not be tested on the touchstone of basic structure. Therefore, the amended Representation of People Act would apply to Mrs. Gandhi and, therefore, her election stood valid under the retrospective amendment. What Parliament could not do by a two-third majority, it could do by a simple majority. Even this proposition of law was subsequently overruled.
Little did this dictatorial regime realize that each act was alienating the people. The Government had a single source feedback that they were getting very popular and that there was no opposition. If you curb free speech and allow only propaganda, you become the first victim of propaganda because you start believing that your own propaganda is the truth and the full truth.