The Supreme Court also delivered verdicts on Sabarimala and Rafale review petitions
The Supreme Court today closed the defamation case filed against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing his “chowkidar chor hai” remark in Rafale case against Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the top court. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said the court accepted Mr Gandhi’s apology in the matter and warned him to be more careful about his future remarks.
Mr Gandhi had made the remark on April 10, the day the top court had dismissed the Centre’s preliminary objections over admissibility of certain documents for supporting the review petitions against the December 14 last year verdict in the Rafale case.
Rahul Gandhi, who was then the President of the Congress Party, had told the bench that he has already tendered unconditional apology for wrongly attributing the remarks relating to the Prime Minister to the top court.
Senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for Mr Gandhi, had told the bench, that the Congress leader expressed regret over the wrongful attribution to the top court.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Meenakshi Lekhi, had submitted that the apology tendered by Mr Gandhi should be rejected and action must be taken against him as per the law.
Mukul Rohatgi also argued that the court should ask Rahul Gandhi to apologise to the public for his remarks.
Mr Gandhi had on May 8 tendered his unconditional apology in the top court for wrongfully attributing to it his “chowkidar chor hai” remark in the Rafale verdict and said that he holds the court in the “highest esteem and respect” and any attributions to it were “entirely unintentional, non-wilful and inadvertent”.
The three-page affidavit was filed by the then Congress president after he had drawn flak from the top court on April 30 over his earlier affidavit in which he had not directly admitted his mistake for incorrectly attributing the allegedly contemptuous remark to the top court.
Ms Lekhi filed the contempt plea against Mr Gandhi for the “chowkidar chor hai” remarks against Modi, which the top court had said were incorrectly attributed to it.
The top court on April 15 had given a categorical clarification that in its Rafale verdict there was no occasion for it to make a mention of the contemptuous observation that “chowkidar Narendra Modi chor hain” as has been attributed to it by Mr Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi, in his explanation filed in the court earlier, had said that his statement was made in the “heat of political campaigning” and there was not the “slightest intention to insinuate” anything regarding the Supreme Court proceedings in any manner.
He had said that his April 10 statement was made in purely political context to counter the “misinformation campaign” being led by senior BJP functionaries as well as the government that the top court verdict of December 14 last year was a “clean chit” to the Centre regarding all the aspects of the Rafale deal.
With input from PTI
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