Rafale: Rahul in trouble as Supreme Court seeks explanation for remarks on Modi

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today accused Congress president Rahul Gandhi for misquoting its judgement on Rafale verdict and has provided a weeks’ time (next Monday) to give an explanation before the cantempt case charged against him will be heard next Tuesday. The bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, in its today’s order, said, “We make it clear the statement attributed to this court in the address made by the respondent (Rahul Gandhi) to the media and public has been incorrectly attributed to this court. We make it clear this court never made such observation. We only decided on the admissibility of documents.”

Last week, in response to the order ruled by Supreme Court stating that the classified files accessed by the media can be considered as proof to consider requests to review a verdict clearing the Rafale deal, Rahul made the remark. Addressing media personnel in Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi, on 10 April said, “I want to thank the Supreme Court. The entire country is saying that Chowkidar chor hai (Chowkidar has committed theft). It is a day of celebration that the Supreme Court has talked about justice.”

Soon after which, on Friday, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi sought a contempt action against him for his alleged remarks. The court today observed, “We never made any such observations commented by Rahul Gandhi.”

In her plea, Lekhi had alleged that Gandhi included his personal opinions to the Supreme Court and tried to create prejudice. Appearing for her, senior advocate, Mukul Rohatgi told the bench that he allegedly stated that the apex court ruling read ‘chowkidaar chor hai (The watchman is a thief)’ in its verdict.

He also recalled a recent interview given by Modi in which the Prime Minister was stated saying that the SC had cleared the air surrounding the Rafale deal. ‘Now the judicial body has made it clear that ‘chowkidarji‘ (watchman) has committed a theft, Gandhi had told press after filing his nomination papers from the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency. Rahul also claimed that the SC had also accepted of courruption in the Rafale deal. The apex court dismissed the preliminary objections put forth by Centre that files on which it claimed privilege cannot be utilised to review the order in the Rafale controversy on Wednesday.

NT Bureau