SC asks Rahul Gandhi to file by May 6 fresh affidavit in contempt case

New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave time to Congress president Rahul Gandhi till May 6 to file a fresh affidavit in a contempt case against him for attributing the ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark to the apex court’s April 10 Rafale case order.
The direction was given by a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
Appearing for Gandhi, advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the bench also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, that his client will express “apology” in the affidavit.
“I have wrongly attributed the remark to the court. That was my error,” Singhvi said during the hearing.
Mukul Rohatgi, the lawyer of BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who filed the contempt case, said, “He (Gandhi) deliberately put words in the mouth of the Supreme Court. He has only expressed regret. The law is clear in contempt cases that the line starts with an unconditional apology.”
After the hearing, Singhvi told reporters, “We will file an affidavit on Monday (May 6) making it clear that we express apology in the matter”.
He said while Gandhi expressed “deep regret” for attributing the remark to the apex court, the Congress’ stand on the Rafale deal is clear.
“The stands of Congress, Rahul Gandhi and several opposition parties are clear in the public domain that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several of his ministers were complicit in the Rafale issue. In that context, the political campaign on ‘chowkidar chor hai’ is being carried out and shall continue,” he added.
Singhvi has said that Gandhi did not have the “slightest or remotest intention, desire or even thought process, to bring the court into the political arena or bring it into disrepute…”
“We pointed out the circumstances in which it was done by mistake,” he said yesterday, referring to comment of Gandhi while talking the media in Amethi on April 10 after the court order on the admissibility of three documents in petitions seeking review of the December 14 Rafale case verdict.
According to the affidavit filed earlier by Gandhi, he made the remark in the “heat of political campaigning”.
The contempt petition has accused Gandhi of misquoting the order when he said the apex court had accepted that ‘chowkidar’ (a reference to Prime Minister Modi), is a “chor’ (thief).
Earlier, the Supreme Court had issued contempt notice against Gandhi.