Jagmohanlal Sinha

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Portrait of Justice Jagmohanlal Sinha

Jagmohanlal Sinha (12 May 1920 – 20 March 2008) was an Indian judge who served in the Allahabad High Court. He is best known for his 1975 ruling in the State of Uttar Pradesh v. Raj Narain lawsuit in which he invalidated the election of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Raj Narain case[edit]

Jagmohanlal Sinha presided over the election petition Number Five filed by petitioner Raj Narain against Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, in 1971.[citation needed] The petition challenged her election to the Lok Sabha in 1971 from the Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh, which Narain had also contested.[citation needed]

Hearing the case took more than four years.[citation needed] The case concluded on 23 May 1975 but the judgement was not announced immediately.[citation needed] On 12 June 1975, Sinha read only the operative part of his judgement. The judgement in itself ran to 258 pages.[citation needed] Gandhi was declared guilty of corrupt practices and her election to the Lok Sabha was declared null and void. She was charged under Section 123(7) of the Representation of the People Act. She was also disqualified from contesting elections for six years.[citation needed]

Within 13 days of the judgement, Gandhi declared a state of Emergency on the nation.[citation needed] The ruling became the primary reason for its imposition. Subsequently, Gandhi used the opportunity to change the law which allowed her to rule by decree. She suspended freedom and liberties and brought Indian democracy to a halt. Consequently, in March 1977, Gandhi and her Congress party were routed in the elections. This ended the uninterrupted rule of Congress over India.[citation needed]

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