Contempt notice to Rahul Gandhi: Trouble is set to rise for Congress president Rahul Gandhi for attriburing his ‘chowkidar chor hai’ jibe in Rafale deal at Prime Minister to the Supreme Court. An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday issued a contempt notice to Rahul Gandhi and said that the contempt petition against him will be heard along with review petition in Rafale deal case on April 30. Rahul Gandhi may have to be present in the court personally unless the court formally exempts him to do so.
Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi told the court that Rahul Gandhi is yet to offer any apology for the remark as he had claimed a couple of days ago.
Responding to the charge on behalf of the Congress chief, Abhishek Manu Singhvi reiterated that Rahul Gandhi has already expressed regret for using the chowkidar jibe and mixing it up with Supreme Court’s order. Singhvi also accused PM Modi of wrongly claiming that the court has given him a clean chit in the Rafale case. “Who is Chowkidar?” CJI Ranjan Gogoi asked during the arguments.
Rahul Gandhi also appealed the Supreme Court to close the criminal contempt petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, however, the top court turned down his request.
“On hearing senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi on behalf of Gandhi in the contempt petition we deem it fit to issue notice to the respondent (Rahul) Gandhi,” the bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.
“We also direct the registry to list the review petition along with the contempt petition next Tuesday,” the bench also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said.
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.
(With inputs from PTI)