Congress President Rahul Gandhi on May 8 submitted a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court expressing his ‘unconditional apology’ for linking his Chowkidar chor hai (the watchman is a thief)jibe against Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi to the apex court.
In his previous affidavit, Rahul Gandhi had expressed “regret” in response to a contempt notice issued by the SC over his remark. But during the hearing he apologised verbally. However, the SC had demanded it in writing.
Rahul Gandhi had misquoted the top court’s ruling on April 10. The court had dismissed the government’s plea that the petition for reviewing its earlier judgement on Rafale deal be dropped as it was based on ‘leaked document’. The Congress president, though, quoted the SC as saying “Chowkidar chori kae hai”, which prompted BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi file a contempt plea.
Initially, the court had sought an explanation from Rahul Gandhi. Not satisfied with his explanation, the court issued a contempt notice, to which he responded with an affidavit that looked like a carbon copy of his earlier explanation.
Finally, on behalf of Rahul Gandhi, advocate Sunil Fernandes has submitted:
“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.“
In the three-page affidavit, Rahul Gandhi has also requested the SC to drop the contempt proceedings against him.
Days after receiving a contempt notice from the Supreme Court, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has got a directive to appear in person in connection with a defamation suit at a Magistrate court in Bihar.
The defamation case has been filed by Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi over Rahul Gandhi’s remark that “all thieves have the surname Modi” made at a political rally.
On April 15, Rahul Gandhi was campaigning in Nanded in Maharashtra when he asked the audience, “Tell me one thing. Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi… how come all of them have Modi as common name. How come all the thieves have the surname Modi?”
Rahul Gandhi had sought to equate Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi with diamond merchant Nirav Modi, who is currently in a London jail, and former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, who too has fled to England. Both Nirav and Lalit are wanted in India over in separate cases of financial fraud.
Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi took exception to Rahul Gandhi’s remark as he too shares the surname. On April 27, he argued in court saying he felt humiliated and ridiculed by the remark. Taking cognisance of his argument, Chief Judicial Magistrate Shashikant Roy directed Rahul Gandhi to appear in person on May 20, when the case comes up for the next hearing.
Earlier on April 10, Rahul Gandhi had wrongly attributed his remark “Chowkidar chor hai” (the watchman is a thief), referring to the prime minister, to the Supreme Court. He later expressed regret over the wrong attribution when the top court sought an explanation from him. However, unsatisfied with the explanation, the court has sent him a contempt notice. The case will come up for hearing on April 30.