SC says Rahul Gandhi 'incorrectly attributed' his remarks on Rafale verdict to court, seeks explanation by 22 April

  • The Supreme Court said it will consider the petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi seeking contempt action against Rahul.

  • The court said Rahul's views on the Rafale verdict 'have been incorrectly attributed' to the bench.

  • The bench said Rahul has to give his explanation on or before next Monday, and the matter will be heard on 23 April.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday made it clear that remarks made by Rahul Gandhi in the media on the Rafale case verdict were "incorrectly attributed" to the apex court and directed the Congress president to give his explanation by 22 April.

The apex court said it will consider the petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi seeking contempt action against Rahul for attributing some observations to the apex court that were not in the Rafale judgment.

"We make it clear that views, observations, findings attributed to this court in the alleged speeches, remarks made by Rahul to media/public have been incorrectly attributed to this court. We also make it clear that this court had no occasion to make such observation in as much as it was deciding legal admissibility of certain documents which were objected by the attorney general," said a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

 SC says Rahul Gandhi incorrectly attributed his remarks on Rafale verdict to court, seeks explanation by 22 April

File image of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. PTI

The bench, also comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said, "Having clarified the matter we deem it appropriate to seek explanation of Rahul."

The bench further said the explanation by Rahul has to be filed on or before next Monday and the matter will be heard on 23 April.

Lekhi, who is a sitting Lok Sabha MP from New Delhi constituency, has alleged in her plea that Rahul attributed his personal remarks to the top court and tried to create prejudice.

At the outset, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Lekhi, said it is a gross case of contempt committed by Rahul, who had incorrectly attributed some remarks to the apex court about its judgment on Rafale case.

Rohatgi said Rahul had come out in the public to make a remark that the "Supreme Court in its judgement said "Chowkidar Narendra Modi chor hai".

The bench said, "You were right to the extent that we never said what has been brought in the petition. We will seek clarification."

After making the remarks, the bench dictated the order.

The Congress president had, on 10 April, claimed that the apex court has made it "clear" that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had "committed a theft".

He had made the statement while interacting with reporters in Amethi after filing his nomination papers. He is contesting from Amethi against BJP leader and union minister Smriti Irani.

Rahul had also recalled a recent interview by the prime minister, in which Modi had said the Supreme Court had given a clean chit to his government on the Rafale deal.

The apex court, which had earlier cleared the Modi government of accusations of corruption over the Rafale deal with France, on 9 April, said it will hear a review petition on the basis of the new documents, referred to by petitioners.

It had on 10 April allowed the plea of petitioners relying on leaked documents for seeking review of its Rafale judgement and dismissed the government's preliminary objections claiming "privilege" over them.

"I am happy and I have been saying so for months that Hindustan's PM has given the air force money to (industrialist) Anil Ambani, and the Supreme Court has accepted it. The Supreme Court is going to investigate it," Gandhi had said.

"I want to thank the Supreme Court . It's a very happy day. The Supreme Court has talked about justice. Justice has prevailed," he had added.

The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation.

Read also: Rahul Gandhi rakes up Rafale case in a manner that disregards truth and consistently hurts his own cause

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Updated Date: Apr 15, 2019 18:19:44 IST