The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a batch of review petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets by the Narendra Modi government, saying there was no grounds to order an FIR. The Supreme Court also closed the contempt plea against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing to the apex court his “chowkidar chor hai” remark in the Rafale case against PM Modi.
Justice SK Kaul, reading out the judgment for a three-judge bench in Rafale deal, said the court can’t have a fishing and roving inquiry, as was said on December 14 last year, when the top court had originally dismissed all petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the Rs 59,000 crore contract for the fighter planes made by Dassault Aviation of France.
The BJP reacted with jubilation to the Supreme Court’s decision to reject review petitions for probing the Rafale deal, saying truth has triumphed and that it is a huge victory for the Modi government. “Truth triumphs. Truth can be bothered but not defeated,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
Another bench of the Supreme Court said the remarks made by Gandhi were far from true and he should have refrained from those and could have been careful. “It is unfortunate that without any verification certain remarks were made by the contemnor (Rahul Gandhi) against the prime minister,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said.
The bench referred to the affidavit filed by him tendering unconditional apology and said, “Gandhi enjoys an important position in political spectrum and no court should be dragged to political discourse, whether valid or invalid”. “Gandhi needs to be more careful in future,” the bench added.
The bench noted that subsequently the contemnor has filed an affidavit that contempt proceedings should not be taken forward. “In view of the affidavit filed by Gandhi, we close contempt proceedings initiated against him,” the bench said.