Supreme Court asks Rahul Gandhi to explain remark it never made

By: | Published: April 16, 2019 3:13 AM

The bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna clarified that it had not said anything as stated to have been made by Gandhi.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi interacting with the media recentlyCongress chief Rahul Gandhi interacting with the media recently

The Supreme Court on Monday sought an “explanation” from Congress president Rahul Gandhi following a plea seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against him for allegedly attributing to the top court certain remarks on the Rafale deal order in his speech.

It was hearing a plea by BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi who contended that Gandhi, while referring to the court’s April 10 order rejecting the Centre’s objections to the admissibility of certain documents submitted by review petitioners, had said that the ‘Supreme Court said chowkidar chor hai’.

The bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna clarified that it had not said anything as stated to have been made by Gandhi.

“We make it clear that this Court had no occasion to record any view or finding or make any observation as allegedly attributed to the Court by the respondent in as much as what was decided by this Court was a purely legal question of admissibility of certain documents to which objections were raised by the learned Attorney General,” the bench said.

It said “no views, observations or findings should be attributed to the Court in political address to the media and in public speeches, unless such views, observations or findings are recorded by the Court”.

Appearing for Lekhi, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said the court had not said any such thing and had only decided on the admissibility of certain papers. The CJI replied, “you are right to the extent we didn’t say it”.

The bench asked Gandhi to file a response on or before April 22 and said the petitioner will be at liberty to file an additional affidavit if necessary. The court will hear the matter next on April 23.

Reacting to the developments in court, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said “Indian democracy does not permit dynasties to rewrite court orders”.

In a series of tweets, Jaitley 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.”

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