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BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi Moves Contempt Petition Against Rahul Gandhi’s Statement On Rafale Deal

BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi moved a criminal contempt petition in the Supreme Court on Friday against Congress chief 

Rahul Gandhi for saying ‘chowkidar chor hai’ for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Appearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, for Ms. Lekhi, said Mr. Gandhi deliberately misinterpreted the recent judgment of the Supreme Court dismissing certain preliminary objections raised by the government. Mr. Gandhi purposefully gave a coloured interpretation to the judgment in order to personally attack Mr. Modi.

Mr. Rohatgi said the Congress president was widely quoted on national television and in newspapers.

Chief Justice Gogoi agreed to hear the contempt petition on Monday (April 15).

On April 10, a Bench led by Chief Justice Gogoi declared the court’s unanimous support for freedom of Press in a democracy. The Supreme Court had refused the government’s plea to keep the Rafale jets’ purchase documents a secret.

The court dismissed preliminary objections raised by the government against petitions seeking a review of the December 14, 2018 judgment of the Supreme Court, which upheld the 36 Rafale jets’ deal.

The government had claimed that the reviews were based on secret Rafale documents unauthorisedly removed from the Ministry of Defence and leaked to the media. Mr. Venugopal had argued that “stolen” documents came under the protection of the Official Secrets Act (OSA). They were not admissible in evidence in a court of law. Claiming privilege, the government had wanted the court to ignore the documents, even if they were found to be germane to the Rafale case, and dismiss the review petitions at a preliminary stage.