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Innocent Admission

Supreme Court pulls up Rahul Gandhi, gives 3rd chance to rectify ‘chowkidar’ blunder

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New Delhi, April 30, 2019-

The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up Congress President Rahul Gandhi even after he apologised for incorrectly attributing to the top court his “chowkidar chor hai” remark. The apex court, however, allowed him to file a new affidavit by Monday.

The move came after Gandhi’s counsel told the court that his client will apologise for attributing the remark to the top court

The apex court said it will be the third opportunity granted to the Congress President.

Gandhi’s counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi offered the apology on behalf of his client a day after the Congress President filed a reply to the apex court’s notice on the issue, in which he had only expressed regret for the comments.

In his affidavit, Gandhi said he had made the remark in the “heat of campaigning” and that his comment was not meant to scandalise the court in any manner.

The top court had last week issued a notice to him asking him to explain his comment.

Singhvi told the apex bench: “There were three errors on my part and I sincerely apologise. I say sorry for attributing the ‘Chowkidar’ comment to the SupremeCourt.”

The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said: “Where have you said all this in your affidavit?”

The court observed that the contents of the affidavit filed by the Congress President was contradictory on separate pages in the affidavit.

The court said: “You have contradicted yourself in the affidavit. At one place, you admit your statement but on the other, you deny saying it. If you start arguing on the basis of this affidavit, we won’t give you another opportunity to file a better affidavit.”

To which, Singhvi said: “I’ve checked in the dictionary. ‘Regret’ means an ‘apology’.”

Mukul Rohatgi appearing for BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said: “He claims to be a literate person. But in the affidavit he said: I didn’t read or analyse the order when I made this comment. Three hours later, he repeats it at a different rally. What kind of regret is he talking about?”

Giving Gandhi the third chance, the bench said it should not, however, be viewed as an acknowledgement of past affidavits.

The court on May 6, will consider the admissibility of the new affidavit.  (Agency)

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