The Congress on Monday said it will provide an explanation to the Supreme Court for party chief Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on the Rafale case verdict, even as it accused the BJP of distorting the Congress leader’s statements.
“They (Supreme Court) have sought an explanation. We will give an explanation to them,” senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal told reporters, when asked about the Supreme Court direction on a contempt plea filed by BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi against Mr Gandhi.
“Remember Modiji when he had said that the Supreme Court has ”given me a clean chit”,” Mr Sibal said, seeking to equate Mr Gandhi’s comments with PM Modi’s on the Rafale jet deal.
In her plea, Ms Lekhi claimed Mr Gandhi attributed observations to the court which was not in its April 10 Rafale verdict on the admissibility of certain documents leaked to the media as evidence.
The top court on Monday directed Mr Gandhi to give an explanation by April 22 for “incorrectly” attributing his “Chowkidar Narendra Modi chor hai” remark to its judgment.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said Mr Gandhi had not intended to distort the Supreme Court order and accused the BJP of doing so.
“Nobody can suggest and nobody was intending to suggest and nobody has suggested that the Supreme Court in a judicial order will see political campaign word like ”chowkidar chor”. How can that be the intention of any one and it was certainly not the intention. It was misled, distorted out of context and we will give a full fitting reply,” he said.
“It is fair enough. That is the legal process. It is a notice and the BJP is bound to cite it as a final order of judgment and we all know that they are equally guilty of distorting if they allege distortion by us, if they call it a final order,” Mr Singhvi said.
He stressed that the court has only given a notice to Mr Gandhi to explain his position.
“You can be rest assured that we will give a comprehensive, strong effective explanation. Let me be very clear the words are obvious there for everyone to see, nobody is squabbling on the word. The interpretation given by the BJP is completely distorted and we will present to the court how, why and in what manner,” Mr Singhvi said.
The top court said it will consider the petition filed by BJP Lok Sabha lawmaker Lekhi seeking contempt action against Mr Gandhi in the matter.
“We make it clear that views, observations, findings attributed to this court in the alleged speeches, remarks made by Gandhi to media/public have been incorrectly attributed to this court. We also make it clear that this court had no occasion to make such observation in as much as it was deciding legal admissibility of certain documents which were objected by the attorney general,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.
“Having clarified the matter we deem it appropriate to seek explanation of Gandhi,” the bench, also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, said.
The bench the matter will be heard on April 23.
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