VERDiCTUM NEWS DESK
Congress President Rahul Gandhi had said that the “Supreme Court has said, chowkidaar chor hai”. Since no SC Judge had ever even made any oral remark remotely resembling what Rahul Gandhi attributed to the Court, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi had filed a criminal contempt case against Rahul Gandhi before the SC.
On 15th of this month, the bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued notice to Rahul Gandhi while observing that it had “no occasion” to make any remark as attributed to it by Rahul Gandhi. Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi had appeared for Meenakshi Lekhi. The SC had given Rahul Gandhi time till today to file his reply.
It is in the meantime, on 19th of this month, that an allegation of sexual harassment was made against the Chief Justice by a former staff of the SC by sending an affidavit to residences of 22 Judges of the Court. Immediately, the news was published on some websites. On 20th April, the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that there is a “pattern” to the manner in which allegations are made against Judges and how the same are published in news immediately. The Chief Justice then said in open court that, “They cannot catch me on money, so they have brought up this” and that, “Independence of judiciary under very very serious threat”.
In the Affidavit that has now been filed by Rahul Gandhi, he has expressed “regret” for making the comment and has claimed that the comment was “made in heat of campaign”. Rahul Gandhi has said that he made the comment without having “seen, read or analyzed the order” of the SC, but based on what was “talked about in electronic and social media reportage and by several workers and activists surrounding (him)”.
This is not for the first time that Rahul Gandhi has made false attributions to the Apex Court during political speeches. Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had said that the SC has found “grave irregularities” in the Rafale deal, whereas there was no such finding in the SC Judgment. Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi has not apologized, but merely expressed regret for attributing the false statement to the Supreme Court. The matter is to be listed tomorrow before the bench headed by the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.