Where is the regret? After SC fumes, Rahul Gandhi may give unconditional apology over ‘chowkidar’ remark

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Updated: May 1, 2019 1:31:12 PM

Rahul Gandhi had earlier submitted in the Supreme Court that he had attributed the 'chowkidar chor hai' remark to the apex court in the 'heat of election campaigning'.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, supreme courtCongress president Rahul Gandhi (PTI Photo)

Contempt case against Rahul Gandhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday reprimanded Congress president Rahul Gandhi for submitting an affidavit in the court without actually expressing regret for attributing his ‘chowkidar chor hai’ jibe in Rafale deal at Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the apex court. The matter will be heard next on May 6.

Hearing the contempt petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi against Rahul Gandhi, CJI Ranjan Gogoi-led Supreme Court bench allowed the Congress leader to file a fresh affidavit apologising for attributing ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark to the Supreme Court.

“We have great difficulty in understanding what you want to say in the affidavit,” said the bench, also comprising justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph.

Arguing in the court in favour of Rahul Gandhi, Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the Congress chief never intended to suggest that Supreme Court endorsed, adopted or supported the political slogan ‘chowkidar chor hai’.

Mukul Rohatgi, who represented Meenakshi Lekhi in the court, appealed it to dismiss Rahul Gandhi’s affidavit arguing that he has made contradicting statements.

“Somewhere he denies the statement, somewhere he says he had not analysed the order. This affidavit should be rejected,” Rohatgi said.

When CJI Ranjan Gogoi asked Rohatgi to explain the meaning of regret, he said there should be an unconditional apology. It is as clear as daylight. This is contempt, he said.

Also Read: ‘Chowkidar chor hai’ jibe: Rahul Gandhi expresses regret for attributing remark to SC, says comment made in heat of campaign

Earlier, in his reply to Supreme Court’s notice, Rahul Gandhi had admitted that the “statement was made in the heat of election campaigning.”

The Congress president was dragged to court by Meenakshi Lekhi over his statement following the Supreme Court’s April 10 ruling in the Rafale deal that documents submitted by the petitioners were admissible as evidence. Soon after the verdict, Rahul Gandhi had told journalists that the Supreme Court vindicated his stand that there were corruption in Rafale deal in which PM Modi was also involved.

“Supreme Court has made it clear that chowkidar allowed the theft. SC has accepted that some sort of corruption took place in the Rafale deal,” Rahul told reporters in Amethi.

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