Congress president Rahul Gandhi (File photo/ANI)
Congress president Rahul Gandhi (File photo/ANI)

Rahul Gandhi expresses regret before SC over his remark on Rafale order

ANI | Updated: Apr 22, 2019 18:56 IST

New Delhi [India], Apr 22 (ANI): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday expressed regret before the Supreme Court over his "chowkidar chor hai" remark in connection with the apex court order of April 10 in the Rafale case, saying it was made during "hectic political campaigning without seeing, reading or analysing the order".
He made the submission in his response to a contempt plea filed by BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi for "misquoting' the apex court order by saying that the court had accepted "chowkidar" (a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi), is a "chor'(thief).
The Chief chief said his statement was used and misused by political opponents and that he made the remark in the “heat of political campaigning".
“It was made on the basis of a bonafide belief and general understanding of the order as being talked about in electronic and social media reportage and by several workers and activists,” Gandhi said in his affidavit.
He said that there was "no attempt too wilfully misinterpret" the court order.
The court had on April 10 dismissed the Centre's preliminary objections claiming "privilege" over three Rafale documents cited in petitions seeking review of the December 14 verdict on the fighter jet deal.
In a unanimous judgement, the court had allowed the admissibility of the three documents and said the review pleas will be heard on merits.
Talking to the media in Amethi on April 10 after the apex court order, Gandhi said, "The Supreme Court has made it clear that "chowkidar" allowed "theft and that it had accepted that some sort of corruption had taken place in the Rafale deal".
Thereafter, Lekhi filed the contempt plea against the Congress leader.
On April 15, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi decided to consider the petition.
It had asked the Congress president to file his response to the plea on or before April 22 and posted the hearing to April 23.
The court had said that it did not record any view or finding or made any observation as allegedly attributed to the court by the respondent (Gandhi).
The bench had said that what it decided was a purely legal question of admissibility of certain documents in the Rafale case. 
In his response to the contempt plea, Gandhi submitted that although his statement itself was not “controverted”, it is the meaning, interpretation, implication and the effect of the words which were distorted and made tendentious by the petitioner for “political purposes”.
“My political opponents wrongly projected that I had deliberately and intentionally suggested that the Supreme Court had said 'chowkidar chor hai'. Nothing could be farther from my mind,” he said, urging the court to dismiss the petition.
The Congress chief also alleged that various senior BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Modi, had also made multiple statements suggesting that the Supreme Court had given him a “clean chit” in the Rafale deal. (ANI)