Rahul Gandhi saying the top court has said 'Chowkidaar Chor Hai', is contempt, said Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hit back at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi today over his comments hailing the Supreme Court order in the Rafale case, which is seen as a setback to the government. The minister accused the Congress chief of contempt of court, saying he had misquoted the top court. Ms Sitharaman said the court order was limited to whether it should consider the documents the government said were illegally obtained by petitioners.

"Rahul Gandhi has completely showed his frustration by saying what the court had not said," Ms Sitharaman said.

"The Congress president probably doesn't read even half a paragraph of the court's order, but here, saying the court has said 'Chowkidaar Chor Hai' it is verging on contempt of court... He may be brazen enough to claim what he claims without any proof, but today what he said was gross contempt of court," the minister said.

Rejecting the Centre's argument that classified documents accessed by the media on the Rafale fighter jet deal can't be evidence, the top court said it would examine the documents while considering petitions asking for a review of its earlier order that gave the government a clean chit.

Hailing the court order, Rahul Gandhi said, "The entire country is saying that Chowkidar has committed theft. It is a day of celebration that the Supreme Court has talked about justice".

His party jeered that an investigation is going to take place now, whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi "likes it or not".

The government had told the court that the documents filed by petitioners who asked for a review of its December verdict, were "sensitive to national security".

So those who conspired to photocopy the papers and leak them to the public, have committed theft and put national security in jeopardy.