Rahul expresses regret over his remarks on Rafale verdict in SC

Congress president Rahul Gandhi filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, expressing regret over his remarks related to its Rafale verdict which the apex court had said was "incorrectly attributed" to it.

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi expressed regret in the Supreme Court on Monday over his remarks in connection with the Rafale judgment which the apex court had said was "incorrectly attributed" to it.

The apex court on April 15 had given a categorical clarification that in its Rafale judgment there was no occasion for it to make a mention of the contemptuous observation that "chowkidar Narendra Modi chor hain" as has been attributed to it by Gandhi.

The court had directed Gandhi to give his explanation on April 22 on a petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi seeking criminal contempt action against him for his remarks. It is scheduled to hear Lekhi's petition on Tuesday.

Gandhi, who filed an affidavit in response to the apex court's April 15 order, said he had made the statement in the heat of political campaigning which has been misused by his opponents. He said he had no intention to lower the dignity of the apex court.

He, however, also alleged that the prime minister too has used the SC judgment in the Rafale jet deal case to claim the government has been given a "clean chit" in the matter.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on April 15 had decided to consider the criminal contempt petition filed by Lekhi against Gandhi for attributing to it some observations that were not in the Rafale judgment.

It observed that politicians should not attribute any findings or views to the court in their speeches.

In her plea, Lekhi, the Lok Sabha MP from New Delhi constituency, has alleged that Gandhi has attributed his personal remarks to the top court and tried to create prejudice.

The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation.

A deal to procure the jets was signed between India and France in 2015. The delivery is expected to begin in September this year.