Supreme Court issues contempt notice against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday April 23 issued a contempt notice to Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his comments which he said he regretted yesterday imputing the apex court had itself said chowkidar chor hai in its order in a Rafale jet deal case. The contempt notice will be heard on April 30. Appearing in the Supreme Court via senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Rahul Gandhi stood by his statement chowkidar chor hai to which the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, reports said, asked who is the chowkidar? Prime Minister Narendra Modi uses the chowkidar prefix to his name as do several thousand BJP supporters.

Gandhi had said yesterday in an affidavit that he said it rhetorically without having studied the order. The Congress chief had said that his political rivals were twisting his statement to make it sound as if the Supreme Court had itself said so. He said that was not what he intended to say in the rhetorical flourish of a campaign speech.

Rahul Gandhi instead said his remark reported widely in the media was an attack on the BJP which, he claimed, addressed press conferences on a purported clean chit from the apex court in the Rafale case, which the Congress has been saying is a corrupt deal. Last week, CJI Gogoi had said the SC had not made any such observance as said by Rahul Gandhi and had only decided on the admissibility of documents in the Rafale case, which the Centre was seeking they be disallowed since the documents were missing from the defence ministry. The apex court had also said that documents deemed classified and in media custody can be considered as evidence to review its clean chit in the Rafale deal case.

The Congress has repeatedly said the Rafale deal has been so jigged that debt-ridden industrialist Anil Ambani could make money as offset partner in the jet deal even though he or his company had no previous experience in defence projects and at the cost of PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The BJP has been charging the Congress first family of torpedoing the Rafale over commissions.

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