The Supreme Court bench comprising of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph to hear the Rafale review petitions. In that process, the Supreme Court (SC) has today compelled the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi to offer an unconditional apology to the Court for attributing the ‘chowkidaar chor hai’ comment to the Supreme Court judgement.
Ruchi Kohli (the representative of BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi) said that the second counter affidavit filed by Rahul Gandhi is similar to that of the first affidavit. She also rebutted Rahul Gandhi’s argument that he had made the statements without reading the order of the Supreme Court. She said that these comments were made in the evening too implying that the comment was made multiple times and hence, cannot be just in the heat of the moment or without reading the order in ignorance.
Ruchi Kohli also said that this statement by Rahul Gandhi that had attributed the ‘chowkidaar chor hai’ statement to the Supreme Court itself was also made in an election rally and hence, was not made in the heat of the moment.
Mukul Rohatgi, also appearing for Meenakshi Lekhi said that both the affidavits filed by Rahul Gandhi were similar and had a half-hearted mention of ‘regret’. Rohatgi said that this was the worst form of contempt of court. He said that there was no unconditional apology offered by Rahul Gandhi.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi asked Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Rahul Gandhi what the meaning of the word ‘regret’ was.
Mukul Rohatgi said that somewhere he denies the statement, somewhere he says he had not analysed the order. This affidavit should be rejected. CJI Ranjan Gogoi asked ‘what is reject his affidavit?’. To that, Mukul Rohatgi said, ‘I meant to reject his excuses’.
Sensing that the CJI was in no mood to be benevolent, Singhvi said that he thought the affidavit was adequate, but if it was lacking, he should be given the opportunity to rectify and file the affidavit again.
Singhvi, on behalf of Rahul Gandhi then said that in the affidavit, “I have made three errors. I accept. I wrongly attributed the statements to My Lord. I apologised” is mentioned.
The court then asked Singhvi where that statement is in the affidavit, to which, Singhvi said that ‘regret’ is the same as an apology.
Never intended to suggest that the SC endorsed, adopted or supported the political slogan ‘Chowkidar chor hai’, said Singhvi and then, the Court allowed Singhvi, representing Rahul Gandhi to file another affidavit in court.
Supreme Court then clarified that this order cannot be understood to be an acceptance or acknowledgement of the affidavits that have been filed already.
Singhvi finally said that Rahul Gandhi would be filing a new affidavit in Court where he would be unconditionally apologising for attributing the words ‘chowkidaar chor hai’ to the Supreme Court and its judgement on the Rafale deal.