Congress president Rahul Gandhi expressed regret in the Supreme Court on Monday over his remarks in connection with the Rafale judgment which the apex court had said was "incorrectly attributed" to it.
In his reply to the Supreme Court, Rahul Gandhi said his statements were "used and misused by the political opponents" and that he "gave the statements in the heat of the political campaigning".
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on April 15 had chose to consider the criminal contempt petition filed by Lekhi against Gandhi for attributing to it some observations that were not in the Rafale judgment.
Gandhi, however, alleged that the prime minister too had used the apex court's judgment in the Rafale case to claim that the government was given a "clean chit" in the matter.
Two days after an independent candidate raised objections to the nomination papers filed by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, the returning officer in the constituency on Monday declared his nomination was valid. He added that there was a general sense of victory among the people who had been demanding an inquiry into the Rafale deal and the general perception made him believe that the case had been re-opened.
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"Nothing could be farther from my mind", Mr. Gandhi said.
Mr. Gandhi said his comments were based from the media, workers and activists surrounding him. My statement was made in the heat of political campaigning.
Gandhi prayed for a dismissal of the case with costs, arguing the petitioners had intentionally dragged the court to create "political controversy for personal gains and political mileage". "Supreme Court ne clear kar diya hai ki chowkidarji ne chori karwai (Supreme Court has made it clear that chowkidarji committed theft)", the Congress leader had said in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi. "Today, the cadres of the Congress party hang their heads in shame that their leader, their national president has been lying blatantly on the Rafale issue", the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said. "The honourable court will adjudicate on the affidavit filed by him but today, in public opinion, Rahul Gandhi is a liar of the first order who has only been speaking lies for political advancement". "BJP's blasphemous misrepresentation of Rahul ji's reply to the SC is itself a criminal contempt of court proceedings".
The third phase of the Lok Sabha elections will be held on Tuesday (April 23).