NEW DELHI, April 23 - The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued criminal contempt notice to Congress President Rahul Gandhi for his �chowkidar chor hai� remark on Prime Minister Narendra Modi while referring to the Rafale judgment, which the apex court said was �incorrectly attributed� to it.
The apex court however exempted Gandhi from personal appearance in the case, filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, which will come up for hearing on April 30.
The criminal contempt petition will be heard along with the pending review petitions against the December 14, 2018 verdict in the Rafale fighter jet deal, it said.
The court rejected Gandhi�s plea to close the criminal contempt petition filed by Lekhi.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi passed the order after hearing for around 10 minutes the arguments by former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Lekhi, and senior advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi representing Gandhi.
�On the basis of the statements made by Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, senior counsel appearing for the alleged contemnor (Rahul Gandhi), we deem it proper to issue notice in the matter,� said the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.
Further, it said: �Personal presence of the alleged contemnor (Rahul Gandhi) is dispensed with, for the present.
�We also deem it proper to direct the Registry to list the present contempt petition along with Review Petition and connected Review Petitions and Miscellaneous Applications on April 30.�
At the outset, the bench asked Rohatgi to apprise it of the content of the affidavit filed by Gandhi in which he had expressed regret over his remarks.
Gandhi claimed the remarks were made in the �heat of political campaigning�. � PTI