Mumbai-based lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee has written to the AG asking to initiate contempt of court proceedings against comedian Kunal Kamra.

Comedian Kunal Kamra in blue shirtKunal Kamra/Instagram
news Controversy Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 11:25

After Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, comedian Kunal Kamra made a series of tweets where he lashed out against the apex court. Now, a Mumbai-based lawyer, Rizwan Siddiquee, has sought Attorney General KK Venugopal’s consent to initiate criminal contempt of court proceedings against the comedian. Update: Attorney General gives consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Kunal Kamra 

Kamra had called the Supreme Court the “most supreme joke” in the country, after which he posted an edited photo of the Supreme Court bathed in saffron colour with a flag of the BJP hoisted on it. “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,” he said in another tweet. 

He also likened Justice DY Chandrachud – who was a part of the division bench that passed the order in the Goswami case – “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 (sic).”

Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee, who has earlier represented actor Kangana Ranaut, has written to the Attorney General, saying that these tweets "manifest attempt to lower the authority of the Supreme Court of India," Bar and Bench reported. The letter also states that if such “unruly and salacious” statements are left unchecked, those like Kamra, who have a following of millions, will also take the same road to make reckless allegations if they find the judgment unfavourable.

"Greatest strength of the judiciary is the faith of the people in it, a belief that should not be allowed to erode because of a calculated and well-timed propaganda of a few," the letter added.

Several people had pointed out on social media also that Kunal’s tweets amounted to contempt of court. To this, Kamra threw a jibe where he said he was taking inspiration from the Supreme Court to say if people did not like his “contempt of court,” they shouldn’t see it. Justice Chandrachud had said while hearing Goswami’s bail plea, that if people don’t like his channel, they should not watch it.

On Thursday morning, Bar and Bench reported that two Pune based lawyers and a law student had also sought KK Venugopal's permission to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Kamra. 

Another lawyer on Twitter, Chandni Shah, said that her complaint against Kamra for contempt of court has been handed over to the Secretary-General of the Supreme Court.

Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani meanwhile responded to Chandni saying she shouldn’t waste her time with the complaint. “You’ll turn a lowly worm into a glow worm. He wants the glare: give him the darkness he deserves (sic),” he said. Kamra responded to Jethmalani as well.

Later, quoting the news of Siddiquee’s letter, Kamra also said, “Who am I to scandalise the already compromised.”

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