The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave Congress president Rahul Gandhi time till 6 May to file a fresh affidavit on a contempt plea filed with regard to the Rafale fighter jet deal.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Meenakshi Lekhi had filed a petition against Gandhi for saying that “Supreme Court ne kaha hai ki chowkidar chor hai".
Gandhi’s statement had come in the wake of the apex court on 10 April announcing its decision to allow leaked Rafale documents to be taken up as evidence as part of a review of the court’s December verdict ruling out a court-monitored probe into allegations of procedural violations and favouritism in the Rafale deal.
“He has deliberately put words into the mouth of Supreme Court for political gains in Amethi and Bihar," senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi argued Tuesday. “It is the grossest form of contempt," he said.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph allowed Gandhi to file another affidavit to address the deficiencies in the affidavit he has already filed.
Gandhi’s lawyer, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, highlighted the submissions made in the affidavit wherein Gandhi accepted that he has committed a mistake by wrongly attributing the remark “chowkidar chor hai" to the Supreme Court and had also expressed regret.
“We are having difficulty in understanding what you are trying to say, not you but your client," remarked Chief Justice Gogoi. The bench stated that there are seems to be deficiency in the affidavit.
“Convince us there is no deficiency," said the bench, following which Singhvi sought time to file another affidavit to clear the deficiencies.
The apex court acceded to the request but observed in its order that the granting of the request for an additional affidavit by no means states the acceptance of the affidavits already filed by Gandhi.