Senior advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on November 14, expressed his happiness on former party president Rahul Gandhi being discharged from the contempt proceedings. Earlier in the day, a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court gave relief to Gandhi while warning him at the same time. Justice Kaul observed that no court should be dragged into any political discourse. Singhvi reiterated that the intention of Gandhi was to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government and not the judiciary. The former maintained that it was a political statement.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “Second, in case of the contempt case against Rahul Gandhi, it is clear which we had stated in the affidavit as well, that during the political campaign, some words are uttered whose intention is not to insult the judiciary and the courts. I am happy that noting our second affidavit, the court has discharged Rahul Gandhi from the contempt proceedings. I know that the court has said the statement during the political campaign should not have been made in the first place. That’s why we had tendered an apology in the affidavit. Because he had no intention. His intention was that it was a political statement. His intention definitely was to speak against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government and not against the judiciary. Finally, the discharge from the contempt proceedings is a matter of happiness and success to some extent.”
BJP Member of Parliament Meenakshi Lekhi had accused former Congress President of misquoting an order of the SC. Rahul Gandhi had said that the apex court had accepted that ‘chowkidar’ is a ‘chor’. In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, ‘Chowkidar chor hai’ was often used by Gandhi to imply that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had committed wrongdoing with reference to the Rafale deal. After the SC issued a contempt notice against Gandhi, the latter tendered an apology seeking closure of the proceedings. However, Lekhi urged for initiating action against the former Congress president as the apology was not ‘unconditional’.