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Rahul has not tendered apology or exhibited remorse for his Rafale remarks: Lekhi to SC


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has not tendered any "apology" or exhibited "remorse" in his explanation filed in the apex court over his remark on the Rafale case verdict, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi told the Supreme Court Monday.
Lekhi, who has filed a criminal contempt petition against Gandhi over his "chowkidar chor hai" remark after the Rafale verdict, which the apex court had said was "incorrectly attributed" to it, submitted a rejoinder affidavit in the top court.
The apex court is scheduled to hear the Lekhi's contempt petition on Tuesday.
"I state and submit that from the tone, tenor and the language used in the purported explanation of the alleged contemnor (Gandhi), it is clear that the alleged contemnor has not tendered any apology or exhibited any remorse in the affidavit," she said.
She said that Gandhi further made false and contradictory statements in the affidavit "which itself amounts to contempt of court".
"In the garb of a bona fide general perception," Lekhi said, Gandhi has sought to justify the "contemptuous statements" made by him rather than submitting an "unconditional apology" to the court.
"It is submitted that from the holistic reading of the reply affidavit of the alleged contemnor (Gandhi), it is clear that there is no sense of regret or remorse or bona fide and unqualified apology on part of the alleged contemnor," she said.
She said that a "mere vague and half-hearted expression of regret", without bona fide belief of mistake, cannot be a ground to escape consequences of contempt of this court.
Gandhi, while responding Monday to a notice issued to him by the apex court on Lekhi's petition, once again expressed "regret" for his remarks.
The apex court on April 15 had given a categorical clarification that in its Rafale verdict 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.
Gandhi, who filed a fresh affidavit following the formal notice issued to him by the apex court on Lekhi's pleas, has used the word "regret" in bracket.
On April 22, Gandhi had filed an affidavit in response to the apex court's order asking him to give an explanation over his remarks and had said that he was expressing "regret" over it.
However, during the hearing in the matter the next day, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Lekhi, had told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that the word 'regret' was in a bracket and actually it was a "lip service of apology".
In his fresh affidavit, Gandhi reiterated what he had said in his explanation earlier that his statement was made in the "heat of political campaigning" and there was not the "slightest intention to insinuate" anything regarding the Supreme Court proceedings in any manner.
In her plea, Lekhi, the Lok Sabha MP from the New Delhi constituency, has alleged that Gandhi has attributed his personal remarks to the top court and tried to create prejudice.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 9:35 PM IST

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