India's former Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, was grated bail by a magistrate in south India on Thursday (15 February).
India's former Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, was grated bail by a magistrate in south India on Thursday (15 February). She was appearing in court in Doddaballapur, Karnataka state, on charges of giving a false address last June in an attempt to register as a voter there.
SYNOPSIS: Pro-Gandhi supporters gathered outside the court building to greet the ex-premier, who lost her seat in parliament after she was expelled by lower house and jailed for a week in December. The election commissioner has now ruled the seat vacant and a by-election is expected soon.
The whole residency scandal stems from the fact that Mrs Gandhi was said in June to be planning to contest a seat in the Indian upper house, or Rajya Sabha, from Karnataka State. Karnataka is ruled by her Congress Party and to contest the constituency, which she said to have a good chance of winning, it was necessary for her to be resident in the state. But she changed her mind and later fought and won a by-election about 160 kilometres (100 miles) away.
Mrs Gandhi was released on a personal bond of five thousand rupees (625 dollars US) and won her fight for exemption from appearing at future hearings. The magistrate granted her request on condition that she would make herself available should the court require her.
What adds bitterness to the case is the fact that the complaint her was levelled by the local Janata Party leader. As she drove off her supporters shouted pro-Gandhi slogans mixed with yells of derision aimed at the opposition witnesses.