SC to hear Rafale review pleas and contempt petition against Rahul Gandhi together on May 10

SC to hear Rafale review pleas and contempt petition against Rahul Gandhi together on May 10



NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday said it would hear together on May 10 the pleas seeking review of its verdict on the Rafale fighter jet case and the contempt petition against Congress President Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing to the apex court the "chokidar chor hai" remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A special bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the petitions seeking review of its December 14 verdict of last year will come up for hearing on May 10.

The bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, expressed surprise as to how the review pleas and the contempt petition against Gandhi were listed on different dates when it had earlier ordered that both the cases will be heard together.

"We are little perplexed that the two cases are listed on two different dates when the order was that these matters will be heard together," the bench said.

Gandhi had made the contemptuous remark, "chowkidar chor hai", against Modi, which the apex court had said was wrongly attributed to it.

The top court had on April 30 given another opportunity to Gandhi for filing one more affidavit for his remark.

Though Gandhi, through his counsel, admitted that he made a mistake by wrongly attributing the remark to the Supreme Court, it observed that in the affidavit filed earlier, at one point the Congress President admitted the mistake and at one point denied making contemptuous remarks.

During Monday's brief hearing, advocate Prashant Bhushan told the bench that he would argue the review pleas as well as an application seeking production of certain documents.

He said the court should allow his co-petitioner and former Union minister Arun Shourie to argue a separate application seeking perjury action against unknown government servants for allegedly misleading the court during the Rafale case hearing earlier.

Bhushan, along with Shourie and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, besides the review plea, has filed one application for perjury against the government for suppressing material information and misleading the court. In the second plea, the three have sought production of certain relevant documents by the Centre for just adjudication of the review plea.

Besides the trio, review petitions have been filed by lawyer Vineet Dhandha and AAP lawmaker Sanjay Singh.

In the December 14, 2018 verdict, the apex court had said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France and dismissed all the petitions seeking an investigation into alleged irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal.

The top court had said there was no substantial evidence of commercial favouritism to any private entity.

The bridge chronicle