In India, the trial has begun of former Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, who faces?
In India, the trial has begun of former Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, who faces charges of refusing to give evidence before a government commission which is investigating alleged excesses during her 21-months emergency rule. However, Mrs. Gandhi was not at the courtroom on Tuesday (9 May) for the opening session, because of an earlier exemption from personal appearance granted by the court.
SYNOPSIS: Among the first to arrive at the courtroom was Mrs. Gandhi's senior counsel, Mr. Frank Anthony. Accompanying him was a prominent American lawyer, Mr. O.M. Williams. Mr. Anthony told the court Mrs. Gandhi would appear whenever she was required.
Outside the court, there was a large contingent of police to patrol the court grounds and keep watch on a large group of pro-Gandhi supporters. At three previous court hearings, Mrs. Gandhi has denied all the charges against her, a stance supported by her followers.
Police moved in the dispersed the demonstrators, who, in the main, went peacefully. In the past, Mrs. Gandhi has refused to recognise the authority of the Shah commission, and has claimed it was being used to discredit her politically. The large turn-out by demonstrators supported claims that Mrs. Gandhi's popularity is growing again. While police arrested 42 demonstrators on minor charges, Mrs. Gandhi's Congress Party was scoring its first parliamentary by-election victory in Northern India, where, only a year ago, she suffered crushing defeat in the general elections. Meanwhile, inside the court, the trial began with the examination of Mr. P.N. Pandey, Commissioner in the Shah Commission. The case is to continue.