Rahul regrets misquoting SC on Rafale amid campaign heat

The president of India’s Congress party Rahul Gandhi on Monday expressed his regret over attributing comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale case to the Supreme Court.

Rahul’s response came after the top court sought his explanation following a contempt petition filed by BJP lawmaker Meenakshi Lekhi.

Rahul said he made the comment in the heat of the political campaigning and it was not deliberate or intentional as the opposition tries to project.

The court will examine Rahul’s explanation and take a decision on Tuesday.

Petitioner Lekhi said Rahul’s explanation to the top court was an admission of his guilt. She said Rahul intentionally misquoted the court to target Modi and boost his election campaign.

Rahul’s controversial comment came when media sought his response to a court’s decision this month to re-examine its December order on Rafale case in the light of leaked government documents published by a newspaper on the fighter jets deal.

The court admitted the documents rejecting a government request to ignore them. It did not make any comment on Modi or anyone else.

But Rahul told media in Amethi that the court has made it clear that Modi indulged in corruption in the Rafale deal.

On Monday, Rahul did not tender an apology before the Supreme Court. He just expressed his ‘regret’. In the 19-page affidavit to the top court, he used that word only once and that too in brackets.

Rahul’s case comes at a time when the judiciary feels its independence is under threat.