Udayavni Special

Chowkidar remark: SC closes contempt case against Rahul Gandhi


Team Udayavani, Nov 14, 2019, 12:05 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday closed Bharatiya Janata Party leader Meenakshi Lekhi’s criminal contempt petition against former Congress President Rahul Gandhi for attributing the “chowkidar chor hai” slogan. However, the bench issued a word of caution to the Congress leader that he should be more careful in future.

The bench said that when it had rejected the need for an inquiry into the Rafale jet deal, Gandhi should not have made political comments without reading the full order given by the court in December 2018.

The prime minister in his rallies had styled himself as India’s chowkidar(watchman) who would protect the country from corruption. The slogan was used by the Congress and other Opposition parties in the run-up to the General Elections to target Narendra Modi about alleged corruption in connection in the multi-billion deal.

The former Congress president had issued an unconditional apology to the court on May 8 for the remark, saying it was made in a purely political context to counter the “misinformation campaign” about the court’s December 2018 judgement.

The ruling party had claimed that the court had given it a clean chit, he added. Gandhi expressed regret that the political slogan got “juxtaposed and intermingled” and the “attributions were entirely unintentional, non-willful and inadvertent”. He urged the court to end the contempt case against him.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who represented Lekhi, urged the court to reject Gandhi’s apology, and called for action against him as per law.

 

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