New Delhi: Explaining his remarks on the Rafale deal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday expressed regret for attributing his "Chowkidar Chor Hai" remarks to the top court and said he has incorrectly done so in the "heat of the moment".
Gandhi also said that his comment was deliberately used by his political opponents to gain leverage.
"It has been used (and misused) by my political opponents to project that I had deliberately and intentionally suggested that this court had said Chowkidar Chor Hai!
"Nothing could be farther from my mind. It is also clear that no court would ever do that and hence the unfortunate references (for which I express regret) to the court order and to the political slogan in juxtaposition the same breath in the heat of political campaigning ought not to be construed as suggesting that the court had given any finding or conclusion on that issue," Gandhi said in his response submitted in the court.
He also defended his comments stating that it was based upon the immediate general perception that in the review petition filed in the Rafale case, the Supreme Court had reopened the case for hearing, and it had not allowed the shutting out of new facts and documents as was desired by the government and that there was generally a sense of victory and exhilaration amongst those, who had been campaigning for inquiry into the Rafale issue.
Gandhi said he had responded to media queries in the context, and it was done during hectic political campaigning "without having seen, read or analyzed the order" at that stage.
Although, the Congress President insisted that his party continued to believe that the Rafale is "a tainted deal", and "the remarks that I had deliberately and intentionally suggested that this Court had said Chowkidar Chor Hai! Nothing could be farther from my mind", he said.
He added that the statement was purely political in nature to counter the aforesaid misinformation campaign being run by senior functionaries of the BJP, as well as the government.
Gandhi also said that this contempt petition in itself was an abuse of the process of the apex court.