NEW DELHI, Nov 14 - The Supreme Court on Thursday rebuked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing to the apex court his chowkidar chor hai remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in connection with the Rafale case, but closed the contempt proceedings against him with a �word of caution� that he must be more careful in future.
It was �unfortunate� that Gandhi did not �verify� and made repeated statements in this regard as if the top court had given an approval to his allegations against the Prime Minister, the apex court held.
However, it was �far from the truth� and persons holding such important positions in the �political spectrum� must be more careful, it said while dealing with the criminal contempt petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi against Gandhi, who was then the Congress party�s president.
A bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, said the matter was �compounded� by the Congress leader by filing a 20-page affidavit with a large number of documents annexed, rather than �simply accepting the mistake and giving an unconditional apology�.
It however closed the contempt proceedings against him by taking into account the additional affidavit filed by Gandhi in which he had tendered an unconditional apology and said that the attributions were entirely unintentional, non-willful and inadvertent.
�We must note that it is unfortunate that without verification or even perusing as to what is the order passed, the contemnor (Gandhi) deemed it appropriate to make statements as if this court had given an imprimatur to his allegations against the Prime Minister, which was far from the truth,� said Justice Kaul, who penned the verdict for the CJI and himself.
�This was not one sentence or a one off observation but a repeated statement in different manners conveying the same. No doubt the contemnor should have been far more careful,� the bench said.
Justice Joseph, who wrote a separate but concurring verdict and dismissed the review petitions filed in the Rafale case, agreed with the view of Justice Kaul. � PTI