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Rahul Gandhi Says Attributed 'Chowkidar Chor Hai' Jibe to SC in Heat of the Moment, Expresses Regret

A day before the Supreme Court is to hear this matter, his affidavit also sought to point out how PM Modi and the BJP have used the court orders in the Rafale case to gain political mileage.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:April 22, 2019, 5:24 PM IST

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday expressed “regret” over his ‘chowkidar chor hai’ jibe against the Prime Minister and gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court that he will not attribute any views to the court in his political addresses unless there are specific orders.

Submitting his affidavit in response to the criminal contempt petition moved by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi in the top court, Gandhi accepted that the words were never used by the court and his attribution came in the heat of the moment when he was campaigning in Amethi.

"It is unfortunate that this slogan got intermingled with my comments on and references to the apex court’s order dated 15.04.2019. My statement was made in the heat of political campaigning. It has been used (and misused) by my political opponents to project that I had deliberately and intentionally suggested that this Court had said Chowkidar Chor Hai! Nothing could be farther from my mind," he said in his affidavit.

Gandhi added, “It is also clear that no court would ever do that and hence the unfortunate references (for which I express regret) to the court order and to the political slogan in juxtaposition the same breath in the heat of political campaigning ought not to be construed as suggesting that the court had given any finding or conclusion on that issue.”

A day before the Supreme Court is to hear this matter, his affidavit also sought to point out how Modi and the BJP have used the court orders in the Rafale case to gain political mileage.

He described the contempt petition as an abuse of the process of the court since it wrongly tried to impute motives whereas he had no intention at all to "willingly" misrepresent the court order.

“It is further denied that trading of contentions with respect to the Rafale deal between political parties in any way lowers the authority and majesty of this Hon'ble Court. However, there should be no misrepresentation of any order of this Court and the Respondent never intended to do so,” said the affidavit.

It sought dismissal of the contempt petition and at the same time recorded Gandhi’s undertaking. “He will not attribute any views, observations or findings to the Court in political addresses to the media and in public speeches, unless such views, observations or findings are recorded by the Court.”

Last week, while taking up the contempt petition, the bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi had clarified in unequivocal terms that it had never used the contentious words and that there was no occasion for the court to examine the allegations against the Prime Minister. It had then called for an explanation from Gandhi.

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