Attorney General KK Venugopal on Thursday gave his nod to initiate contempt of court proceedings against stand-up comic Kunal Kamra for his tweets criticising the Supreme Court of India, according to Bar and Bench.
“The tweets which I am extracting below are not only in bad taste but clearly cross the line between humour and contempt of the court”, said Venugopal in his letter to one of the applicants who had sought consent of the top law officer for initiation of contempt proceedings against Kamra.
“I, therefore, grant consent to proceed by way of initiating contempt proceedings against Kunal Kamra,” Venugopal said in his letter.
The attorney general said that Kamra’s tweets were “highly objectionable” and it “constitutes criminal contempt of court”, he wrote in his consent letter.
A Bombay-based lawyer had written to Venugopal, seeking to initiate contempt proceedings against Kunal Kamra for his tweets criticising Supreme Court's decision to grant interim bail to Arnab Goswami.
Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee's letter noted that Kunal Kamra's tweets are tantamount to a “manifest attempt to lower the authority of the Supreme Court of India.”
He took objection against Kamra's tweets posted during the SC proceedings as well as after it, according to LiveLaw. It says that Kamra's "unruly and salacious" tweets if allowed to go unchecked, would trigger his millions of social media followers to make similar "reckless allegations and diabolical statements against the judges and the courts who do not decide cases in their favor or in accordance to their liking”. The letter wars that this would "spell the death knell of an independent judiciary".
The Supreme Court of this country is the the most Supreme joke of this country...— Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) November 11, 2020
The pace at which the Supreme Court operates in matters of “National Interests” it’s time we replace Mahatma Gandhi’s photo with Harish Salve’s photo...— Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) November 11, 2020
All lawyers with a spine must stop the use of the prefix “Hon’ble” while referring to the Supreme Court or its judges. Honour has left the building long back...— Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) November 11, 2020
DY Chandrachud is a flight attendant serving champagne to first class passengers after they’re fast tracked through, while commoners don’t know if they’ll ever be boarded or seated, let alone served.— Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) November 11, 2020
The letter added that, by posting a morphed image of the court building in saffron colours and having a BJP flag hoisted on top, Kamra has tried to “outrage the integrity of the Supreme Court” by posting an image of the court building in orange shade and a BJP flag hoisted in the foyer.
“The greatest strength of the judiciary is the faith of the people in it, a belief that should not allowed to erode because of a calculated and well-timed propaganda of a few,” the advocate said in his letter.
Two Pune-based lawyers and one law student had also written to Attorney General KK Venugopal on similar grounds.
Two Pune based lawyers and one law student seek Attorney General KK Venugopal's consent to initiate contempt proceedings against stand up comic artist Kunal Kamra for his tweets criticizing the judiciary. @kunalkamra88 #contemptofcourt #SupremeCourt pic.twitter.com/BQdzdTkrfh— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) November 12, 2020
Kamra reacted to these letters by posting another tweet, in which he said, “Don’t even call it contempt of court call it contempt of future Rajya Sabha Seat."
Don’t even call it contempt of court call it contempt of future Rajya Sabha Seat ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ— Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) November 12, 2020