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Rahul Gandhi's comments on Modi regarding Gujarat riots do not amount to contempt of court, feels lawyers unlike BJP
Rahul Gandhi in his first ever formal TV interview to an English news channel Times Now had said that when anti-Sikh riots took place in 1984 the Congress government tried to control it, however, in 2002 when anti-Muslim riots took place in Gujarat, the Government in Gujarat was actually abetting and pushing the riots further.

On being asked that a Supreme Court appointed SIT has cleared the name of Narendra Modi, so how could the Gujarat CM be still held responsible for it, Rahul Gandhi didn't give any direct answer. He said, “The PM has stated his position on the Gujarat riots. The Gujarat riots took place, people died, Mr. Narendra Modi was in charge of Gujarat at that point.”

BJP while hitting out at Rahul Gandhi has asked him the reasons for finding faults in Supreme Court-mandated SIT's judgement. BJP also slammed Rahul Gandhi saying that he had no answers for corruption and UPA's poor governance, and hence he brings up the topic of Gujarat riots.

Do Rahul Gandhi's comments on Narendra Modi in relation to Gujarat riots amount to contempt of court?

According to BJP, Rahul Gandhi's interview amounts to contempt of court. The BJP's spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi strongly feels that Rahul's statements are technically even a case of defamation.

“Congress is an inhuman party in the country and they have repeatedly divided the country and it is leading towards the same path. By dividing they want to rule the country. Whereas Narendra Modi wants to bring in development and progress by uniting the people. It is not only a contempt to court, but technically even a case of defamation,” said Meenakshi Lekhi.

We reached out to few experts of the law in a bid to get more clarity on whether Rahul's statements amount to contempt of court. They answered in 'No' saying any citizen can express their views on a judgement.

According to Imran Ali, a Supreme Court Lawyer, “Contempt of Court is, when you lower the dignity of court. It's not about judgement, you can criticize the judgement, but you cannot criticize the intention behind the judgement.”

Ali added that when an FIR is filed, the police creates a chargesheet against it, and if they don't have enough evidences to support the chargesheet, then the police attaches a closure report to it. A citizen or the complainant has every right to ask the police or the court to re-investigate the course.

“In Narendra Modi's case the closure report was challenged by Zakia Jafri. But the court has not accepted the protest petition by her, and has accepted the closure report submitted by the police. And Rahul Gandhi's comment on NaMo is not at all a contempt of court, every citizen has a right to criticize the judgement of any court, it may be lower court, higher court or supreme court,” said Imran Ali.

On the same lines Bankim Kulshreshtha, a Supreme Court said that, “Any citizen of India has his/her own right to say any correct thing. Any judgement of the Supreme Court or any other court can be appealed to a reasonable justification. Every citizen of India has a right of expression to make their comments. But the thing is, the judge cannot be criticized for this, but the justifiability of the judgement can be criticized.”

And according to advocate Kulshreshtha, in this case Rahul Gandhi has only criticised the judgement and not the judge, so it does not come under the contempt of court.

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