Explain Rafale comments: SC to Rahul Gandhi

Explain Rafale comments: SC to Rahul Gandhi

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. (File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday sought an explanation from Congress president Rahul Gandhi for "incorrectly attributing" to the top court that it had said "Chowkidar Narendra Modi Chor hai. (Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a thief) in its Rafale judgement."

A bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi preferred to clarify that it had never made any such statement attributed to the court.

"This court had no occasion to record such views and observations. We have decided only on legal questions of admissibility of some documents opposed by Attorney General," the bench said.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, contended Gandhi had said, "Supreme Court ne Kaha hai ki Chowkidar Narendra Modi Chor hai".

"You are right to the extent that we never said anything," the bench said.

On this, Rohatgi asked the court, "You may clarify and seek his response."

The court said, "Views, observations and statement attributed to this court in alleged address made by Rahul Gandhi to the media and the public has been incorrectly attributed to this court."

The court sought Gandhi's response on or before Monday, April 22.

The top court put the petition for consideration on Tuesday.

Lekhi, who filed the petition, is the sitting BJP MP from New Delhi parliamentary constituency.

In a tweet, she had declared, “Filed a criminal court of contempt against serial offender Rahul Gandhi. He attributed his own statements as court’s verdict. Misrepresenting and lowering the dignity of the SC. Vilifying the Constitutional authorities!”

The apex court had on April 11 stated that it would consider the leaked secret documents related to purchase of Rafale fighter jets from France.

Immediately thereafter, the Congress president had said in his rally in Amethi and interactions to the media that the Supreme Court has said – Chowkidar (referred to as Prime Minister) was a thief.

Notably, the court had then decided to examine the secret documents to reconsider its December 14, 2018 judgement that dismissed a plea for probe into the 2016 Rafale fighter jets deal. It had rejected the Union government's objections over admissibility of the fresh materials, by saying those were already in public domain.