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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Meenakshi Lekhi has moved a contempt petition against Congress president Rahul Gandhi in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent judgment concerning maintainability in the Rafale review case.
The contempt petition is based on Rahul Gandhi’s alleged statement that the Supreme Court has said “Chowkidar Chor hai” in relation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the preliminary objections raised by the Centre were rejected by the Supreme Court.
Objecting to this statement, Lekhi has filed a criminal contempt petition against Gandhi. The matter was mentioned today by Senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi. The Bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna will hear the matter on Monday, April 15.
The Supreme Court Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph had dismissed the Central government’s preliminary objections on the maintainability of the Review Petitions filed in the Rafale case on Wednesday this week.
The petitions had been filed against the Court’s judgment of December 14, 2018, by which it had dismissed the plea seeking an investigation into the controversial Rafale deal. By the said judgment, the Court had concluded that it was satisfied that the process for procurement of the 36 Rafale jets has been complied with.
The Court had opined that it was not the job of the Court to go into issues of pricing, or choosing of the offset partner. It, therefore, dismissed four petitions calling into question the Indian government’s deal with French firm Dassault Aviation to buy the 36 fighter jets for a total of Rs. 58,000 crore.
However, immediately after the judgment was pronounced, an error had come to light. Review Petitions were subsequently filed, pointing out that the judgment was based on “errors apparent on the face of the record”, and ought to be recalled. The petitioners had sought an open court hearing, which was allowed by the Court.