SC Issues Contempt Notice to Rahul Gandhi for Remarks on Rafale Order, Exempts Personal Appearance
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it would hear the contempt plea against Rahul Gandhi together with the petitions seeking review of its December verdict on the Rafale fighter jet deal with France next Tuesday, April 30.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his remarks in the Rafale case, rejecting his plea to lay the matter to rest after he expressed regret on Monday.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it would hear the contempt plea against Gandhi together with the petitions seeking review of its December verdict on the Rafale fighter jet deal with France next Tuesday, April 30. The court has exempted Gandhi from making a personal appearance in the case.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi, the contempt petitioner, submitted that Gandhi had not offered any apology for attributing the ‘Chowkidar Chor hai’ remark to the court.
Rohatgi said expressing regret was not an apology in the eyes of the law and “contrition has to be expressed at first instance and unequivocally”.
In reply, senior lawyer AM Singhvi said Gandhi had expressed regret for wrongfully mixing up Chowkidar remarks along with his comments on SC verdict in Rafale review petitions. He said it was a political slogan and attributed to the court “in the heat of the political campaign”.
Singhvi also submitted that PM Narendra Modi had also misquoted the judgment to state that the court had given clean chit to him in Rafale corruption allegations.
On April 15, the top court had sought Gandhi's explanation on a petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who sought criminal contempt proceedings against the Congress president for wrongfully attributing statements to the apex court.
Gandhi had made the statament after the SC decided on April 10 to reject the preliminary objections of Centre against admitting “stolen” documents produced by review petitioners and to hear Rafale review purely on merits.
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