In India, Sanjay Gandhi, son of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was sentenced with another man in Delhi Court on Tuesday (27 February) on a charge of criminal conspiracy and four other offences.
In India, Sanjay Gandhi, son of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was sentenced with another man in Delhi Court on Tuesday (27 February) on a charge of criminal conspiracy and four other offences. Reuters news agency said that, on the sentencing, Sanjay supporters's threw some files and a book at Judge O.N. Vohra. Fighting broke out between spectators and detectives, and a table crashed under the combined weight of his supporters as they shouted abuse at the police. Sanjay Gandhi's co-defendant was former Indian Information and Broadcasting Minister Vidya Charen Shukla.
SYNOPSIS: Both men had been convicted by the court the previous day. They returned for sentencing.
Mr Shukla arrived on foot to battle through the usual milling and excited crowds. The conspiracy and other charges were connected with the seizing and destruction of a 1975 film shot during Mrs Gandhi's state of emergency. The film satirised Mrs Gandhi and other politicians. The case against the two men had been proceeding for eleven months.
As well as the criminal conspiracy charge, they were convicted of breach of trust, mischief by fire, retaining stoles property and destroying evidence. This was the first conviction against Sanjay Gandhi out of some twenty cases pending against him of alleged illegal activities during his mother's last two years as Prime Minister. In that period, he was one of India's most powerful figures.
He and Mr. Shukla were each sentenced to two years' hard labour on the five charges before the court. In addition to the jail sentences, Sanjay was fined a total of ten thousand rupees (1,250 U.S. dollars), and Shukla twenty-five thousand rupees (3,120 dollars).
Sanjay's supporters shouted 'Sanjay Gandhi Zindabad' -- 'Long Live Sanjay Gandhi' -- as they hurled insults and scuffled with detectives.
Police said later they arrested twenty-nine Sanjay supporters for stoning and damaging Delhi Transport Company buses near the court. Both Sanjay and Shukla were allowed bail of five thousand rupees (625 U.S. dollars) pending appeal to the High Court. In his judgement from the Bench, Judge Vohra had said the film had been brought from Bombay to Sanjay's Maruti car factory on the outskirts of Delhi, where it was destroyed.
Mr. Shukla emerges into the melee. Sanjay Gandhi last June spent one month in jail for attempting to influence prosecution witnesses in the destroyed-film case. For some while he has spent most of his time in litigation, shuttling between one court and another in neighbouring States.