Rafale: We are perplexed, CJI Ranjan Gogoi on contempt petition against Rahul Gandhi being listed separately
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Rafale: We are perplexed, CJI Ranjan Gogoi on contempt petition against Rahul Gandhi being listed separately

Murali Krishnan

The hearing in Rafale review petitions threw up a rather unexpected issue today.

Only the review petition was listed for hearing today, while the contempt petition against Rahul Gandhi which was heard along with review petition last week, was not listed for hearing today.

When the matter was taken up today, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi appeared puzzled.

“Why is the contempt matter not listed today? We were hearing both together”, said Gogoi J.

Senior Advocate Vikas Singh said that as per the order passed last week, Rahul Gandhi’s case has been directed to be listed for May 10.

Confusion ensued as CJI Gogoi maintained that both the matters should be heard together.

“We can only say we are perplexed, we had ordered that both cases be taken up together.”

The Court then adjourned the matter. It will now be taken up on May 10 at 2 pm.

The Bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph is examining the matter on merits after dismissing the Central Government’s preliminary objections regarding the maintainability of the review petitions last month.

On April 30, the Central Government mentioned the matter before the Court and sought time to file its counter in the case. The Court allowed the request and adjourned the matter.

Subsequently, the Central Government filed two affidavits before the Court last week, reiterating its stance that no review of the December 2018 judgment is warranted.

In the related contempt petition, Congress President Rahul Gandhi agreed to apologize for attributing the ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ remark to the Supreme Court. This after BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi filed a contempt petition assailing 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 in the Rafale review case were rejected by the Supreme Court.

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