‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’: SC Closes Contempt Plea Against Rahul Gandhi

Supreme Court said “Mr Rahul Gandhi needs to be more careful in future” for attributing his remarks to the court.

Updated
Politics
2 min read
Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi.
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The Supreme Court on Thursday, 14 November closed a contempt plea filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing to the court his “chowkidar chor hai” slogan against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale case.

The Supreme Court said “Mr Rahul Gandhi needs to be more careful in future” for attributing his remarks to the court.

Gandhi had made the remarks on 10 April, the day the apex court had dismissed the Centre's preliminary objections over admissibility of certain documents for supporting the review petitions against the 14 December last year verdict in the Rafale case.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph had on 10 May reserved the judgement.

Gandhi, who was then the President of the Congress Party, had told the bench that he has already tendered unconditional apology for wrongly attributing the remarks relating to the Prime Minister to the apex court.

Senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for Gandhi, had told the bench, that the Congress leader expressed regret over the wrongful attribution to the apex court.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Lekhi, had submitted that the apology tendered by Gandhi should be rejected and action must be taken against him as per the law. Rohatgi had also argued that the court should ask Gandhi to make an apology to the public for his remarks.

Gandhi had on 8 May had tendered unconditional apology in the apex court for wrongfully attributing to it his "chowkidar chor hai" remark in the Rafale verdict and said that he holds the top court in the "highest esteem and respect" and any attributions to it were "entirely unintentional, non-wilful and inadvertent".

The three-page affidavit was filed by the then Congress president after he had drawn flak from the apex court on 30 April over his earlier affidavit in which he had not directly admitted his mistake for incorrectly attributing the allegedly contemptuous remark to the top court.

Lekhi filed the contempt plea against Gandhi for the "chowkidar chor hai" remarks against Modi, which the top court had said were incorrectly attributed to it.

The apex court on 15 April had given a categorical clarification that in its Rafale verdict there was no occasion for it to make a mention of the contemptuous observation that "chowkidar Narendra Modi chor hain" as has been attributed to it by Gandhi.

Gandhi, in his explanation filed in the court earlier, had said that his statement was made in the “heat of political campaigning” and there was not the “slightest intention to insinuate” anything regarding the Supreme Court proceedings in any manner.

He had said that his April 10 statement was made in purely political context to counter the "misinformation campaign" being led by senior BJP functionaries as well as the government that the apex court verdict of December 14 last year was a "clean chit" to the Centre regarding all the aspects of the Rafale deal.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)

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