NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned to 10 May the hearing of the review petitions connected with the Rafale fighter jet case.
The hearing was adjourned due to an error on the Supreme Court registry that had listed the contempt petition against Congress president Rahul Gandhi, for attributing the “Chowkidar chor hai" (the gatekeeper is the thief) remark to the top court, on 10 May and not with the review hearing of the December verdict on Rafale-related corruption allegations .
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph expressed surprise that the review pleas and the contempt petition were listed separately on different dates when it had earlier ordered that both the cases be heard together.
“We are a little perplexed that the two cases are listed on two different dates when the order was that these matters will be heard together," the bench said.
The apex court had on 10 April said it will allow “leaked" Rafale documents to be taken up as evidence in the case. These documents would now be judged on merit as part of the review of a December apex court verdict that ruled out a court-monitored probe into the allegations of procedural violations and favouritism in a deal to procure 36 Rafale jets. The December order had effectively given the government a clean chit.
The review petition against the Supreme Court’s December order was filed by former Union ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha, and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan.
During the brief hearing, advocate Prashant Bhushan told the bench that he would argue the review pleas as well as an application seeking production of certain documents, PTI reported.
In the contempt case against Gandhi, the bench had given the Congress president till Monday to file a fresh affidavit for attributing the remark, “Chowkidar chor hai", to the court during an election rally.
Meenakshi Lekhi of the Bharatiya Janata Party had filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court after Gandhi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally with the “Supreme court ne kaha hai, chowkidar chor hai" remark. .
Rahul Gandhi had expressed “regret" in his initial affidavit but later said that it was an apology when the court warned him to either admit his mistake or face action for contempt of court.