Continuing the back-and-forth on a contempt case against Congress president Rahul Gandhi for “incorrectly attributing” a remark on the Rafale order, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that Gandhi has only expressed regret even as he “deliberately” put words in the mouth of the court.
“Law is clear in contempt cases the line starts with an unconditional apology,” Lekhi’s lawyer Mukul Rohatgi said.
Rahul Gandhi’s counsel responding to the accusation said that the Congress president will apologise for “wrongly attributing the ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark to the SC”. “That was my error,” he said.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Rahul Gandhi said that the Congress president will file a fresh affidavit with an apology by May 6.
The Supreme Court will now hear the matter on May 6.
In an affidavit filed on Monday, Gandhi said that he had no intention of dragging the court into politics and alleged that it was the petitioner, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who is playing politics.
Rahul Gandhi, while welcoming the Supreme Court’s decision to examine fresh revelations on the Rafale deal on 10 April, claimed a moral victory and said that the court has made it clear that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “committed theft”.
“The Supreme Court has made it clear that ‘chowkidarji’ (watchman) has committed a theft,” Gandhi told reporters during a rally in Amethi.
Lekhi file a criminal contempt petition against Gandhi, following which, the court said the remark was “incorrectly attributed” to it.
Lekhi had claimed in her petition that “the words used and attributed by him to the SC in the Rafale case has been made to appear something else. He is replacing his personal statement as the Supreme Court’s order and trying to create prejudice”.
The Congress president then expressed “his regret” in the Supreme Court over his remarks but did not apologise.
In his reply to the Supreme Court, Rahul Gandhi said his statements were “used and misused by the political opponents” and that he “gave the statements in the heat of the political campaigning.”