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Meenakshi Lekhi files contempt plea in SC against Rahul Gandhi

BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi in her plea alleged that Gandhi has attributed his personal remarks to the top court and tried to create prejudice.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Apr 13, 2019, 08.54 AM IST
The Congress president had on April 10 claimed that the apex court has made it “clear” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “committed a theft”.
Meenakshi Lekhi, the BJP Member of Parliament from the New Delhi constituency, filed a petition in the Supreme Court alleging that Congress president Rahul Gandhi had committed contempt by attributing his ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remarks on the Rafale controversy to the top court.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, sitting alongside justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, said the case would come up for hearing on Monday. The decision was taken immediately after Lekhi’s petition was mentioned on an urgent basis by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi on Friday. Lekhi took to social media soon after.

“Filed a Criminal Court of Contempt against serial offender Rahul Gandhi. He attributed his own statements as Court’s verdict. Misrepresenting and lowering the dignity of the SC. Vilifying the Constitutional authorities!” she said in a post on Twitter. Any party can file a contempt petition over alleged failure to abide by any court order, alleged defamation of the court, interfering with the justice administration process or bringing it into disrepute.

Rohatgi referred to Gandhi’s campaign rhetoric ‘chowkidar chor hai’ to press for an urgent hearing. Sections of the ruling BJP had been vocal about the need to bring in a contempt plea against the Congress leader.

Gandhi, while welcoming the Supreme Court’s decision to examine fresh revelations on the Rafale deal on April 10, made remarks about the prime minister and corruption, which Lekhi alleged were attributed to the apex court. Lekhi claimed the imputation that the court had ruled as much was contempt because it imputed words to the court that it hadn’t said.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier accused Gandhi of contempt.

The court order, she said, was limited to whether it should consider the documents that the government alleged had been illegally obtained by the petitioners in the case. “Rahul Gandhi has completely showed his frustration by saying what the court had not said,” Sitharaman had said.

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