THE Supreme Court on Tuesday issued criminal contempt notice to Congress President Rahul Gandhi for his “chowkidar chor hai” remark on Prime Minister Narendra Modi while referring to the Rafale judgement, which the apex court said was “incorrectly attributed” to it. The apex court however exempted Gandhi from personal appearance in the case, filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, which will come up for hearing on April 30. The criminal contempt petition will be heard along with the pending review petitions against the December 14, 2018, verdict in the Rafale fighter jet deal, it said. The court rejected Gandhi’s plea to close the criminal contempt petition filed by Lekhi.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi passed the order after hearing for around 10 minutes the arguments by former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Lekhi, and senior advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi representing Gandhi. “On the basis of the statements made by Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, senior counsel appearing for the alleged contemnor (Rahul Gandhi), we deem it proper to issue notice in the matter,” said the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna. Further, it said:
“Personal presence of the alleged contemnor (Rahul Gandhi) is dispensed with, for the present. “We also deem it proper to direct the Registry to list present contempt petition along with Review Petition and connected Review pleas and Miscellaneous Applications on April 30.” At the outset, the bench asked Rohatgi to apprise it of the content of affidavit filed by Gandhi in which he had expressed regret over his remarks. Gandhi claimed the remarks were made in the “heat of political campaigning.”
Special court to hear on 26th plaint against Rahul for remarks against PM
A DELHI court on Tuesday transferred a complaint filed against Congress President Rahul Gandhi for allegedly seditious remarks he made in 2016 against Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a special court designated to try lawmakers. District Judge Poonam A Bamba transferred the case to Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal who will take up the matter on April 26.
The complaint has sought direction to the police to register an FIR against Gandhi for making allegedly seditious remarks in 2016 against PM Modi, accusing him of hiding behind the blood of soldiers and cashing in on their sacrifice. The complaint referred to Gandhi’s speech at a meeting here where he made these remarks. Addressing the meeting after completion of his ‘Kisan Yatra’ in Uttar Pradesh, Gandhi had said: “You (Modi) are hiding behind the blood of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir and those who carried out the surgical strikes for India. You are exploiting their sacrifices, which is very wrong.”