Rahul apologises to SC for ‘chowkidar’ goof-up

Rahul GandhiPhoto Credit: Twitter INC India

New Delhi Congress President Rahul Gandhi tendered his “unconditional apology” to the Supreme Court for “unintentionally” linking the top court in the Rafale review plea to his party’s political slogan “chowkidar chor hai”

Gandhi filed the three-page affidavit rendering the “unconditional apology”.

Gandhi had been asked by the apex court to apologise for incorrectly saying that the top court had said “chowkidar chor hai”, an euphemism the Congress chief uses to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the context of the Rafale fighter jet deal.

On April 10, Gandhi had told reporters that the Supreme Court had “said ‘chowkidar chor hai’.”

He made the comments hours after a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and including Justices K.M. Joseph and S.K. Kaul, agreed to hear review petitions on its December order in the Rafale matter.

In December, the apex court had rejected the need for an inquiry into the Rafale deal.

After Gandhi’s controversial comments, Lekhi moved a contempt of court petition against him in the top court which took serious cognizance of the remarks, saying these had been incorrectly attributed to it.

The court issued a notice to the Congress leader and asked him to apologise.

SC seeks Rahul’s explanation on ‘chowkidar chor hai’

On April 22, Gandhi filed an affidavit, expressing “regret” for the comments, saying those were made in the “heat” of election campaigning.

The Supreme Court, however, was not pleased and asked Gandhi’s counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi the reason for mentioning “regret” within brackets in the affidavit.

Singhvi tried to argue that ‘regret’ and ‘apology’ were the same thing but an unhappy Chief Justice Gogoi said, “We have great difficulty in understanding what you are saying.”

The court then gave Gandhi another chance to file a fresh affidavit to express his apology in clear terms, which he did today.

He also requested the top court to close the contempt proceedings against him based on a petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the matter on 10th May.