Rafale statement attributed to SC in heat of moment: Rahul Gandhi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi | PTI
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday filed his reply affidavit in the Supreme Court in which he said that he had no intention of violating any order or attributing any statement to the top court. The said statements, Gandhi said in his affidavit, were made “in Hindi in a rhetorical flourish in the heat of the moment”. In his affidavit, Gandhi maintained said that though he did not attribute any statements made by him to the court, he did maintain that there was some wrongdoing in the deal.

“The answering respondent would take this opportunity to reaffirm his stand and belief and that of his party that the Rafale deal is tainted transactions and a gross and brazen abuse of executive power and a leading example of corruption of the BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Gandhi said in his affidavit. The case is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday.

The affidavit, filed on Monday, was part of the reply sought by the top court in response to a statement made by Gandhi in the aftermath of an order of the top court admitting new documents in the review petition for probe of Rafale deal. On April 15, the apex court, while making it clear that the comments made by Gandhi had been wrongly attributed to the court, said politicians should, in their speeches, not attribute any findings or views to the court, unless it had been recorded in the order.

“We have considered the matter. We make it clear that this court had no occasion to record any view or finding or make any observation as allegedly attributed to the court by the respondent (Rahul Gandhi) in as much as what was decided by this court was a purely legal question of admissibility of certain documents to which objections were raised by the Attorney General,” a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said.

The top court was hearing a contempt petition moved by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Meenakshi Lekhi against Gandhi. In her petition, Lekhi had alleged that Gandhi had, after the top court’s order in the Rafale case, made a remark that the “Supreme Court in its judgement said Chowkidar Narendra Modi chor hain”. Gandhi, it is alleged, had made the statement while addressing media persons in Amethi after filing his nomination papers.

In his affidavit, apart from clarifying his own statements, Gandhi has also listed the instances when the leaders of BJP used the initial orders of the top court as “clean chit” by the court. On December 14 last year, the apex court had in a unanimous verdict said there was “no occasion to really doubt” the procurement process of 36 Rafale fighter jets, “even if minor deviations have occurred”.

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