Rafale remark: Rahul responds to SC’s contempt notice, refuses to apologise
New Delhi, Apr 29: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday filed a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court but has refused to apologise once again.
Gandhi, who asked that the contempt petition be dismissed said this happened in the "heat of campaigning."
Gandhi in his affidavit said he had no intention of dragging the court into the political arena, and claimed that politics was being played by the petitioner, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, under the pretext of contempt proceedings.
In his counter affidavit, Gandhi expressed regret for the "chowkidar chor hai" remark on Prime Minister Narendra Modi while referring to the Rafale judgment.
"It is also clear that no court would ever do that and hence the unfortunate references (for which I express regret) to the court order and to the political slogan in juxtaposition the same breath in the heat of political campaigning was ought not to be construed as suggesting that the court had given any finding or conclusion on that issue," he said in his affidavit.Gandhi said he did not have the slightest or remotest intention to bring the court into political arena, or bring it into disrepute by attributing something which the court had not said.
"At the outset, it is clarified that the answering respondent (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 or attribute to it deliberately or wilfully that which the court has not said or meant," he said
Gandhi said, "Several limbs of the government and of the ruling party" have repeatedly stated that the December 14 last year's order of the apex court constitute a clean chit to the government.
"The answering respondent (Gandhi) would also submit that his statement on April 10, 2019, had also been made in that context, purely politically, to counter the aforesaid misinformation campaign being led by senior functionaries of the BJP as well as the government that the judgement of this court dated December 14, 2018, was a clean chit to the government regarding all the aspect of the Rafale deal," he said.
"It is also noteworthy that the Rafale issue which had been and continues to be one of the most prominent political and social issues in this country for many months and despite the matter being sub judice it has been the subject of incessant discussion in civil society and the media," he said.
The Supreme court had on April 23 issued criminal contempt notice to Rahul Gandhi for his "chowkidar chor hai" remark on Prime Minister Narendra Modi while referring to the Rafale judgment, which the apex court said was "incorrectly attributed" to it.
The Congress president while speaking to the media in Amethi said, "The Supreme Court has made it clear that "chowkidar" allowed "theft and that it had accepted that some sort of corruption had taken place in the Rafale deal".
The court has exempted Gandhi from making a personal appearance in the case.