- Rahul Gandhi to apologise for "chowkidar" remark through fresh affidavit
- BJP said his earlier affidavit was nowhere near an unqualified apology
- The Congress President had said his comment was "rhetorical flourish"
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will apologise through a fresh affidavit for wrongly attributing the "Chowkidar chor hai" remark to the Supreme Court, his lawyer told Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi today. The BJP had objected to the Congress chief's earlier affidavit expressing regret, saying it is nowhere near an unqualified apology. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who was representing Mr Gandhi, said it was a mistake that the affidavit did not contain the word "apology" and a fresh one would be filed.
"I have checked the dictionary, regret means apology. (But) I will say apology," Mr Singhvi told the court.
When the Chief Justice said, "We have great difficulty in understanding what your client says", Mr Singhvi assured the court that he would "make a correction" and file a "better affidavit" on Monday.
"We heard all. After extensive hearing, Singhvi wants to file additional affidavit. It is open for the respondent to file affidavit. The acceptance of any such affidavit will be considered on Monday," said the bench comprising Chief Justice Gogoi, and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph.
On April 10, the court - which is hearing petitions asking for a review of its December order on Rafale - ruled that classified documents accessed by the media can be used as evidence to consider the requests.
Hours later, Rahul Gandhi had welcomed the order at a public rally with the "chowkidar" slogan, but attributed it to the top court judges.
As the BJP, in an appeal, accused the Congress chief of being in contempt, the court demanded that Mr Gandhi explain his position.
In his affidavit, Mr Gandhi expressed regret and admitted that he had falsely quoted the top court as "rhetorical flourish in the heat of political campaigning" without having seen, read or analysed the order.
The BJP demanded that his affidavit be rejected. "There is one word, regret, in the affidavit. Either justify or apologise. It is gross contempt. Affidavit has to be unconditional apology. If you made a mistake come clean," Mukul Rohatgi, who is representing the petitioner, the BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi, told the court today.
The court will hear the case along while continuing the Rafale hearing on Monday.