The former Prime Minister of India, Mrs Indira Gandhi, is to face charges after defying a Government commission for the second time and refusing to answer questions on alleged excesses during her 21-month emergency rule.
The former Prime Minister of India, Mrs Indira Gandhi, is to face charges after defying a Government commission for the second time and refusing to answer questions on alleged excesses during her 21-month emergency rule. A formal complaint was filed against Mrs Gandhi on Friday (20 January) and she has been summoned to face a New Delhi court next month.
SYNOPSIS: Police were on duty to handle crowds outside the former Maharajah's Palace in New Delhi on Thursday (19 January), before a hearing of the Shah Commission, which is investigating alleged abuse of power by Mrs Gandhi during the emergency.
Mrs Gandhi's two sons, Sanjay and Rajiv before their mother arrived with others members of their family and friends. Special security was in force outside the palace, following an alleged attempt on Mrs Gandhi's life earlier in the week as she attended a meeting elsewhere in the city. A man has been charged with a attempted murder.
During the hearing Mrs Gandhi refused to give evidence or take the oath. She said she was not legally or constitutionally obliged to testify. Mrs Gandhi, who told a previous hearing that she was bound by her Prime Minister's oath of secrecy, had twice refused to appear before the Commission before she was summoned 10 days ago. At her first appearance she also refused to testify.
If convicted for refusing to give evidence to the Commission, 60-year-old Mrs Gandhi, who ruled India for 11 years, could face a fine of 1,000 rupees (118 US dollars) and up to six months in prison on each of the charges.