Rafale: Rahul Gandhi again expresses regret before SC

Congress President Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi once again expressed regret before the Supreme Court for attributing his remarks 'Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chowkidar is thief' to the top court, immediately after it decided to reconsider its judgement on plea for probe into the 2016 Rafale fighter jets deal from France.

In an affidavit, he reiterated his statement issued in Amethi on April 10 was made in the heat of political campaigning and unfortunately the slogan 'Chowkidar chor hai' (Prime Minister is thief) got intermingled with his comments.

“There is no intention, direct, indirect, remote, implied or an attempt in any other manner to violate any court order, obstruct the administration of justice, or prejudice or interfere with the due course of any judicial proceedings, or scandalize the court in any manner” he said.

Rahul's affidavit was filed in response to the apex court's formal notice issued on April 23 on a criminal contempt petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi. He had on April 22 had already expressed his regret and sought to close the matter but the court had then did not accede to his plea.

The top court is to take up on Tuesday a batch of review petitions against its December 14, 2018 judgement dismissing a plea for probe into the Rafale deal.

On Monday, the Union government sought permission to seek an adjournment for having some time to file its affidavit in the matter.

In his 28-page response, Rahul said the Rafale issue had been and continued to be one of the most prominent political and social issues in this country for many months. Despite the matter being subjudice, it has been the subject of incessant discussion in civil society and the media, he said.

“The Rafale deal is a tainted transaction and a gross and brazen abuse of executive power and a leading example of the corruption of the BJP Government led by Prime Minister Modi, which deserves to be investigated thoroughly by a Joint Parliamentary Committee and proceeded against thereafter,” he maintained.

Rahul also undertook he would not attribute any views, observations or findings to the court in political address to the media and in public speeches, unless such views, observations or
findings were recorded by the court. He also said he had no intention to bring the court into the political arena.

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