NEW DELHI, April 22 - 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, saying it was made in the �heat of political campaigning�. The apex court on April 15 had given a categorical clarification that in its Rafale verdict there was no occasion for it to make a mention of the contemptuous observation that �chowkidar Narendra Modi chor hain� as has been attributed to it by Gandhi.
The court had directed Gandhi to give his explanation on April 22 on a petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi seeking criminal contempt action against him for his remarks. It is scheduled to hear Lekhi�s petition on Tuesday.
Gandhi, who filed an affidavit in response to the apex court�s order, said his statement was �purely political� and was made to counter the �misinformation campaign� being led by senior BJP functionaries as well as the Government that the December 14 last year judgment gave a �clean chit� to the Modi government on the Rafale deal.
He also referred to a media interview by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which he had said that the apex court had given a clean chit to the government in the Rafale deal.
He maintained that there was no �slightest intention� to �insinuate� anything regarding the Supreme Court proceedings in any manner as he holds the top court in the highest esteem.
Clarifying further, Gandhi said he had made the statement after filing his nomination paper on April 10 without �having seen or read the order� of the apex court passed on that day relating to the admissibility of certain documents related to the Rafale case in the review petition.
However, on the issue of slogan �Chowkidar chor hai�, Gandhi in his affidavit re-affirmed his stand and belief and that of his party that Rafale deal is a �tainted transaction� and a �gross and brazen abuse of executive power and a leading example of the corruption of the BJP Government led by Prime Minister Modi, which deserves to be investigated thoroughly by a Joint Parliamentary Committee and proceeded against thereafter�. � PTI