By A Special Correspondent
In trying to be over smart, Rahul Gandhi failed to placate the Supreme Court and has been slapped with a contempt notice despite writing a letter of regret for misrepresenting a court order. The only concession the court made to the Congress president was to grant him exemption from appearing in person.
When Rahul’s lawyer AM Singhvi expressed gratitude to the court for just asking for an explanation from his client and not issuing a notice, the bench, headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, was quick to retort that it will now correct the technical error and went on to issue the notice.
If one goes through Rahul reply, it is clear that he tried to be extra smart which perhaps did not go down well with the court. Instead of something like “I deeply regret having misrepresented the Supreme Court’s order of April 15 on the Rafale deal. It was done in the heat of election campaigning and I apologize for the same. I assure the court that it will not be done again”, Rahul’s legal team drafted a letter that said many things about the Rafale deal, including it being a tainted transaction and much more. The word “apology” was not mentioned even once. Rahul and his team tried to make the reply a political statement and will now have to explain further.
The legal team of the BJP seized on the reply to point out that neither had Rahul apologized nor had he ceased using the April 15 order to claim that Modi was a chor. They claimed in court that he was travelling all over the country and addressing rallies where he was still saying the same things over which he expressed regret in his letter.
Rahul Gandhi admitted in his letter that when he made the original comments, he had not read the court order but went by reports in the electronic media and comments in the social media. As president of a pan-India party and as someone who is aiming to be the country’s prime minister, Rahul Gandhi displays scant respect for the country’s judiciary. He made a huge blunder and should tender an unqualified apology. The court is not going to let him off if he just expresses regret.