SC asks Rahul Gandhi to be “more careful”

SC closes contempt proceedings in 'Chowkidar chor hai' case

The top court, which closed contempt proceedings against Rahul initiated on a petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, also noted that he tendered his “unconditional apology” only on May 8. PTI

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave a “word of caution” to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for attributing his statement 'Chowkidar (PM Narendra Modi) is a thief” to the top court, and asked him to be “more careful in future” in his “utterances” or “political discourses”.

“It is unfortunate that without verification or even perusing as to what is the order passed, the contemnor deemed it appropriate to make statements as if this court had given an imprimatur to his allegations against the Prime Minister, which was far from the truth,” a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said.

The top court, which closed contempt proceedings against Rahul initiated on a petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, also noted that he tendered his “unconditional apology” only on May 8, when in two of his previous affidavits of April 22 and 30, he just expressed his regret, saying his statement was made in “rhetorical flourish in the heat of the moment”.

The court said this was not one sentence or a one-off observation but a repeated statement in different manners conveying the same thing.

“We do believe that persons holding such important positions in the political spectrum must be more careful. As to what should be his campaign line is for a political person to consider. However, this court or for that matter no court should be dragged into this political discourse. Certainly, Mr Gandhi needs to be more careful in the future,” the bench said.

Rahul made his statement to media on April 10 in Amethi, alleging that the Supreme Court had held that “Chowkidar (Narendra Modi, Prime Minister) is a thief”. This came on a day when the court rejected the Union government's plea on the admissibility of certain documents in consideration of the review petitions filed against the December 14, 2018 judgement that dismissed a plea for probe into the Rafale deal.

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