Supreme Court reserves verdicts in Rafale review and contempt petition against Rahul Gandhi
The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its verdict on a plea seeking contempt action against Congress President Rahul Gandhi for wrongfully attributing his "chowkidar chor hai" remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the apex court in the Rafale verdict.
Rahul Gandhi told the Supreme Court that he has already tendered unconditional apology for "wrongly attributing" to it the "chowkidar chor hai" remarks and the criminal contempt proceedings against him should be closed.
Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Gandhi, told the bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, that the Congress President has already tendered unconditional apology and has expressed regret over the wrongful attribution to the apex court.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Lekhi, told the bench that the apology tendered by Gandhi should be rejected and action must be taken against him as per the law. Rohatgi also argued that the court should ask Gandhi to make an apology to the public for his remarks.
Gandhi had made the remarks on April 10, the day the apex court had dismissed the Centre's preliminary objections over admissibility of certain documents for supporting the review petitions against the December 14 last year verdict in the Rafale case.
In the December 14, 2018 verdict, the apex court had said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France and dismissed all the petitions seeking an investigation into alleged irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal.
The top court had said there was no substantial evidence of commercial favouritism to any private entity.
Later, in a setback to the Centre, the apex court had on April 10 allowed the plea relying on leaked documents for seeking review of its Rafale verdict and dismissed the government's preliminary objections claiming "privilege" over them.
The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation. A deal to procure the jets was signed between India and France in 2015. The delivery is expected to begin in September this year.
(With inputs from PTI)
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