NEW DELHI: Seeking an explanation from Congress president Rahul Gandhi on his remark where he misquoted the Rafale order, the Supreme Court on Monday observed that his statement on the case verdict was ‘incorrectly attributed’ to the top court.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi gave a categorical clarification that in its Rafale judgement there was no occasion for it to make a mention of the alleged contemptuous observation — “Chowkidar Narendra Modi chor hain” — as was attributed to it by the Congress president.
“We are making it clear this court never made such observation. We only decided on the admissibility of documents,” the judges said. They sought Rahul’s explanation by April 22 and scheduled the hearing a day later.
In a two-page order, the judges said, “We further observe that no views, observations or findings should be attributed to the court in a political address to the media and in public speeches, unless such views, observations are recorded by the Court.”
Responding to the Supreme Court’s ruling last week that classified documents accessed by the media can be used as evidence to consider requests to review a verdict clearing the Rafale jet deal, Rahul said, “I want to thank the Supreme Court. The entire country is saying that Chowkidar chor hai (Chowkidar has committed theft). It is a day of celebration that the Supreme Court has talked about justice,” Rahul told a rally in his constituency, Amethi, in Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP accused him of putting words in the mouth of the top court and a criminal contempt petition was filed by MP Meenakshi Lekhi against Gandhi for attributing to it some observations that were not in the Rafale judgement.
According to the law of contempt, unless exempted by the court by way of a specific order, an alleged contemnor is supposed to remain present in such a matter. However, in this case, the bench made it clear that it was only seeking an explanation from Gandhi for the moment.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, “They (Supreme Court) have sought an explanation. We will give an explanation to them.”
The BJP accused the Congress president of putting words in the mouth of the top court by attributing to it some observations that were not in the Rafale judgment.