THE Congress President Rahul Gandhi has filed a reply in the Supreme Court regretting his remark where he is said to have attributed to the apex court, the remark “chowkidar hi chor hai” while referring to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in relation to the Rafale case.
“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”, Rahul Gandhi said in his reply.
Gandhi further 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 slogans in juxtaposition in the same breath in the heat of political campaigning ought not be construed as suggesting that the court had given any findings or conclusion on that issue”
Rahul Gandhi has also made it clear that he and his party are of the belief that the Rafale aircraft deal is a tainted transaction and a gross and brazen abuse of executive power and a leading example of corruption by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre.
He has also referred to various statements made by BJP leaders namely the Prime Minister himself, party President Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley and Ravishankar Prasad who had said the Supreme Court had given a clean chit to PM Narendra Modi after it dismissed the PIL seeking a probe into Rafale deal in December 10, 2018.
This reply has been filed in response to a contempt petition filed by BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi against Rahul Gandhi for attributing the remark to the Apex Court.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to take up the contempt petition tomorrow, April 23, 2019 for hearing.
On April 15, 2019, the Supreme Court had clarified that it had never made the remark “chowkidar hi chor hain”, while at the same time seeking an explanation from Congress President Rahul Gandhi in connection with a criminal contempt petition filed against him by Lekhi.
The Court had also said “no views, observations or findings should be attributed to the Court in a political address, to the media and in public speeches, unless such views, observations or findings are recorded by the Court”
On April 10, 2019, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K M Joseph had unanimously ruled that there was no embargo to the admissibility of ‘secret’ documents, containing file notes of the Defence Ministry, that had been annexed to the review petition filed in the case relating to the purchase of the Rafale aircraft.
Lekhi, a Lok Sabha MP, filed a criminal contempt petition against the Congress President in the Supreme Court on April 12, 2019, for deliberately misrepresenting the April 10 judgement and claiming that the Supreme Court had in its verdict said: “Chowkidar hi chor hai”.