- Rahul Gandhi admitted to misquoting the Supreme Court
- "It's clear no court would do that (say 'Chowkidar chor hai'), he said
- Mr Gandhi was earlier given a week by top court to explain his remarks
Rahul Gandhi today admitted that he had misquoted the Supreme Court after its ruling on the Rafale fighter jet deal and said he had done it as "rhetorical flourish in the heat of political campaigning", without having seen, read or analysed the order. He also promised to the court that he would not "attribute any views, observations, or findings to the Court in political addresses to the media and in public speeches, unless recorded by the Court."
The Congress president said his words were mostly in response to the ruling BJP claiming victory after a December top court order giving the government a clean chit in the case.
"My political opponents wrongly projected that I had deliberately and intentionally suggested that the Supreme Court had said 'Chowkidar chor hai'. Nothing could be farther from my mind," he said in his affidavit to the Supreme Court.
"It is also clear that no court would ever do that (say Chowkidar chor hai) and hence the unfortunate references (for which I express regret) to the court order and to the political juxtaposition in the same breath in the heat of the political campaigning ought not to be construed as suggesting that the court had given any finding or conclusion in Rafale deal," he said.
Rahul Gandhi said his statement to media that the Supreme Court had "agreed" that PM Modi had committed corruption in the Rafale deal was a political diatribe against opponents who had gone to town citing a clean chit from the court and it was in continuance of his constant campaign slogan 'Chowkidar chor hai'.
Rahul Gandhi was earlier given a week by the Supreme Court to explain after the BJP filed a contempt case against him. The petition will be taken up tomorrow.
"We make it clear the statement attributed to this court in the address made by the respondent (Rahul Gandhi) to the media and public has been incorrectly attributed to this court. We make it clear this court never made such observation. We only decided on the admissibility of documents," three judges led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said last week.
On April 10, the Supreme Court had ruled that classified documents accessed by the media can be used as evidence to consider requests to review its clean chit to the Rafale deal. Hours later, Rahul Gandhi cheered the order.
"I want to thank the Supreme Court. The entire country is saying that Chowkidar chor hai (Chowkidar has committed theft). It is a day of celebration that the Supreme Court has talked about justice," the Congress president had said in his constituency Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP accused him of putting words in the mouth of the top court and sued him for contempt.
The Supreme Court said it wanted Rahul Gandhi's response. "We never made any such observations commented on by Rahul Gandhi," said the court.