Last week, soon after the Supreme Court dismissed the Centre’s ‘preliminary objections’, allowing the admissibility of three documents in the Rafale deal as evidence in re-examining the review petitions filed against its 14 December judgement, Opposition leaders started describing it as a big blow to the Union government. What do they have to say now, since the same court has issued notice to Congress president Rahul Gandhi directing him to explain why he chose to incorrectly attribute the phrase ‘chowkidar chor hai’ to the apex court judgement in the Rafale case.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi clarified that the apex court had ‘no occasion to make such observations’ in its 10 April judgement, which solely concerned a legal question about the admissibility of certain documents as evidence in the Rafale review petitions. ‘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,” three judges, led by the Chief Justice, said.
The court ordered Rahul to reply on or before 22 April. Rahul has to now explain to the court why he chose to, both in the media and to the public, attribute the phrase ‘chowkidar chor hai’ to the apex court. Reacting to the developments in the court, Union Minister Arun Jaitley, in a series of tweets, said: ‘In Rahul Gandhi’s politics, the Right to Free Speech includes the Right to Falsehood. Dynasts are also subject to the Supreme Court. Indian democracy does not permit them to rewrite Court orders. To manufacture a Court order for a political propaganda is a new low for Rahul Gandhi. The lower he sinks, the higher we rise.’ Any answers, Rahul and friends?