Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SK Kaul and KM Joseph, JJ has closed the contempt petition filed by BJP lawmaker Meenakshi Lekhi against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing to the court, his “chowkidar chor hai” slogan against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Rafale Deal case. The bench , however, said
“Rahul Gandhi needs to be more careful in future,”
Lekhi had accused Gandhi of misquoting the April 10 order of the Supreme court in which it had allowed additional leaked documents to be put on record as evidence in the Rafale case.Gandhi, who was then the president of the Congress party, allegedly said that the Court had accepted that ‘chowkidar’ (a reference to Prime Minister Modi), is a “chor’ (thief).
Pursuant to this, the Supreme Court issued a contempt notice against him.
Chief Justice Gogoi was categorical that Gandhi had to either offer a clear-cut apology or face criminal contempt. Subsequently, Gandhi tendered an unconditional apology to the Court and sought closure of the contempt proceedings against him.
During the course of proceedings, former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who represented Lekhi, had argued that Gandhi’s apology should be rejected and
action must be taken against him.
“He (Gandhi) has only expressed regret. The law is clear in contempt cases that the line starts with an unconditional apology,”
The bench also dismissed the the petition seeking review of it’s 2018 order where the bench had dismissed the petition seeking probe in the much talked about Rafale Deal by holding that there was no reason for any intervention by this Court on the sensitive issue of purchase of 36 defence aircrafts by the Indian Government.
Read more about the 3-judge bench verdict in Rafale Deal case here.