Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday filed a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court, tendering an 'unconditional apology' to the apex court for attributing 'chowkidar chor hai' remark on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the SC in Rafale case. The SC will next hear the case on Friday.
It may be recalled that a SC bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had rejected Rahul's previous affidavit in which the Congress chief had expressed 'regret'. The top court had also asked Rahul to not make contradictory statements. The tough stand taken by the SC had left Rahul with no other option than offering the unconditional apology in order to end the contempt case.
"The Deponent unconditionally apologises for the wrongful attributions to this Hon’ble Court. The Deponent further states that any such attributions were entirely unintentional, non-willful and inadvertent," Rahul said in his new three-page affidavit. The Congress chief also said in his affidavit that he holds the SC in the highest esteem and respect and that he has never sought or intended to, directly or indirectly, commit any act that interferes with the process of administration of justice.
Earlier, Rahul's counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi had told the SC that there were three errors in the first affidavit that was filed on the Congress chief's behalf over the issue.
During the hearing in the case, Mukul Rohatgi who appeared on behalf of BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said: He (Rahul Gandhi) deliberately put words in the mouth of SC, he has only expressed regret. Law is clear in contempt cases the line starts with an unconditional apology."
It is to be noted that the case against Rahul Gandhi was filed by Lekhi, who is also the sitting MP from New Delhi parliamentary constituency.
The observations made by SC pertain to order passed by the top court on April 15 when the SC had sought Rahul's explanation on a petition filed by Meenakshi Lekhi, who has sought criminal contempt against Rahul Gandhi. Lekhi had also claimed that Rahul made the remark wrongfully attributing it to the apex court.
In his second affidavit, the Congress chief had 'expressed regret' for his remark against PM Modi but had not apologised for the same.
"The answering Respondent (Rahul) has not done nor remotely intended to do anything to lower the majesty of this Hon'ble Court in any manner whatsoever," he said in his reply. "The answering Respondent's (Rahul Gandhi) brief statement to the mediawalas made in this context of and during hectic political campaigning without having seen, read or analyzed the order at that stage," he had said.