The Supreme Court, on Monday, was perplexed that a contempt plea against Rahul Gandhi was separated from a bunch of review petitions when the Court had earlier decreed that both should be heard together, on May 6. Bewilderingly, the contempt plea against the Congress President was not listed and it will be now heard on the 10th of May.
“We are little perplexed that the two cases are listed on two different dates when the order was that these matters will be heard together,” the bench, headed by CJI Gogoi and comprising of Justice S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph, reportedly said.
On April 30, a Bench led by the CJI himself had dictated in open court that the Rafale review and the criminal contempt case against the Congress President would come up for hearing together on Monday, the 6th of May.
However, the copy of the order published on the website later on April 30 evening showed the date of the contempt plea to be May 10, the last working day before the court closes for summer vacations. The mysterious change of dates is sure to raise some suspicions as both matters have major political implications for the Congress party.
CJI Gogoi also expressed his surprise at the mysterious change of date. “I remember clearly dictating in court that the Rahul Gandhi contempt case would come up for analogous hearing on May 6 along with the Rafale case. How did this happen? How has it happened that the order copy says May 10”, the CJI reportedly asked.
The court, however, shifted the hearing of the Rafale review petitions to May 10. The three-judge bench of Justices SK Kaul, KM Joseph and the CJI, stated that the Rafale reviews petitions too will be heard along with the contempt case against Rahul Gandhi on May 10.
The Supreme Court had admonished the Congress President for attributing his ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ comment to a Court judgment on the matter after BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi filed a contempt petition against him for the remark.
The Supreme Court observed then that it had on “no occasion” made any comments as attributed by Gandhi and that the judgment was solely on the legal question of admissibility of documents produced by review petitioners. Rahul Gandhi was also sent a notice by the Court.
In his reply, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi Parivar expressed ‘regret’ over the matter and admitted that the Court said nothing of the sort. He said it happened during the heat of campaigning. However, the Court wasn’t impressed with his ‘regret’ and was again rebuked by the Court and asked to offer a proper apology in a new affidavit.
Meanwhile, the event of the contempt plea not being listed on May the 6th is not the only suspicious thing that has occurred. As the matter reached the Courts, allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against the CJI who claimed that it was an attempt to dissuade him from hearing important cases.