Page 2-Tuesday, June 6, 1978-The Michigan Daily
Desai promises no
pardon for Gandhi
trial and there will be no executive
pardon, as in the American Watergate
"I have not agreed with that decision
of President Ford" to pardon former
President Richard Nixon, Desai said.
"I consider that a wrong thing."
INTERVIEWED at his desk in the
government secretariat building, on the
eve of his trip to Europe and the United
States, Desai and his aides said he
would not answer questions about U.S.-
Indian relations or the subjects he will
discuss with Carter.
Thus the conversation centered on
Gandhi, his arch-rival in Indian
politics, his general view of America,
and on some of his pet projects, such as
prohibition and ending poverty in rural.
Desai also said affluence is corrup-
ting America, but he admires U.S.
generosity and its "passion for
HE ARRIVED in Brussels, Belgium,
Monday for trade talks with Common
NEW DILHI, India (AP)-Prime
Minister Morarji Desai says his gover-
nment is not sure it has an ironclad
criminal case against his predecessor,
Indira Gandhi, accused of
authoritarian excesses during her
But the 82-year-old Indian leader said
that if Gandhi is tried it will be a swift
Market officials. He goes next to
Britain and then to the United States,
arriving in New York on Thursday. He
is scheduled to meet with President
Carter in Washington next week.
On his return, the prime minister and
his cabinet must finally settle their
toughest political question - whether
and on what charges to prosecute Gan-
dhi, who was defeated by Desai's
Janata Party in an election landslide 15
After a half-year of public hearings, a
government inquiry May 15 reported
that as prime minister Gandhi had
"misused her position ... and subver-
ted . .. lawful processes" during her
1975-77 emergency rule. It contended
she put the emergency into effect solely
to stay in power.
MAINTAINING that "nobody should
be above the law," Desai said he is still
not sure the government has a clear
legal case against Gandhi. "We are
examining it," he said. "I can't say. If I
had been sure of it" the trial would have
already started, he said.
If charges are brought, Desai said,
the cases "need to be tried soon and
must not be dragged on for an indefinite
Gandhi's followers have denounced
the commission findings and
threatened a nationwide resistance
campaign if the 60-year-old opposition
leader is brought to trial.
Despite the prospect of violence in the
streets, Desai rejected the idea of a
Watergate style pardon for Gandhi in
the interest of national unity and
stability, the arguments used to justify
Ford's 1974 pardon of Nixon.
I CAN PARDON anything done
against me, I have no hesitation doing
that," he said in replies to questions.
"But when it is against the whole
society, who am I to pardon. That is not
justice... How can national unity be
maintained ... by condoning crime?"
On the subject of U.S. aid programs
beginning with the Marshall Plan after
World War II, Desai said other aid
giving countries are following the
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"But for the Marshall Plan, would
Europe have been saved?" he asked.
"Would Japan's progress have been
possible without American help? Of
course it was due to their own Japanese
hard work, but also with USA help.
What other country has that record?"
BUT ON THE negative side, Desai
said American affluence "has brought
in permissiveness, corruption and a
completely material view of life. That
is why you see hippies. There is a
revolt ... and that is also a healthy
Desai praised Chinese success in
easing that country's problem of
feeding itself but he rejected regimen-
tation as a solution for national
"I cannot deny that China has made
very great progress ... they have
become self-sufficient ...," he said.
"They have done many things, but they
can't last if they don't become volun-
tary. Regimentation cannot make a
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Bob
Dole (R-Kan.), introduced legislation
yesterday to restrict the power of police
to search.through private papers of a
person not suspected of crimes.
Dole said his proposal was in respon-
se to a Supreme court ruling last Wed-
nesday upholding the right of police to
obtain warrants and conduct searches
of newspaper offices and files.
The court-said suchsearches could be
conducted even when there was no
evidence anyone connected with the
newspaper had committed a crime.
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