A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Sanjiv Khanna agreed to hear Lekhi’s petition after senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi mentioned it for urgent hearing
In her petition, Lekhi said immediately after the SC pronounced its decision to hear the review petition filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie after rejecting the Centre’s objections, the Congress president told TV channels, “Now, the Supreme Court has accepted that chowkidar has done the theft. The court has said that. In Rafale (deal), two persons have indulged in corruption, one is Narendra Modi and the other is Anil Ambani. The chowkidar has stolen Rs 30,000 crore from the country and given it to Anil Ambani.”
The BJP MP said the SC had only decided to hear the review petition and had not uttered a single word either on alleged corruption in the Rafale deal or given any indication about involvement of the PM. The review petitioners had not mentioned a single word about corruption by the PM, she added.
Under the Contempt of Court Act, 1971, an individual can file a contempt petition against another person only on the authorisation of the attorney general or the solicitor general. Since AG K K Venugopal had argued the Rafale case, he assigned certification of Lekhi’s contempt petition to SG Tushar Mehta, who consented to its filing. Lekhi, a lawyer, is additional solicitor general Aman Lekhi’s wife and represents the New Delhi constituency in Lok Sabha.
Lekhi said Rahul’s statements twisting the SC order and attributing meaning to it was contempt of court as there was a clear attempt to misrepresent the court order. Rahul’s statements were meant to create prejudice against the PM, not only in the minds of the general public but also MPs working under his leadership, she added.
On April 10, the SC decided to hear the petition seeking review of its four-month-old judgment giving a clean chit to the NDA government in procurement of 36 fully-loaded Rafale fighter jets from France through an inter-government agreement and trashed the Centre’s objection to the court scrutinising three “secret documents”, which the petitioners’ claimed substantiated wrongdoing.
“We deem it proper to dismiss preliminary objections raised by the Union of India questioning maintainability of the review petition and we hold and affirm that the review petition will have to be adjudicated on its own merit by taking into account relevance of the contents of the three documents, admissibility of which, in the judicial decision-making process, has been sought to be questioned by the Centre,” the SC had said.