‘May I suggest other matters…’: Kunal Kamra asks SC to hear more important cases

In a statement on Twitter, Kunal Kamra said that he does not intend to apologise or retract his tweets.
Kunal Kamra
Kunal Kamra
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Comedian Kunal Kamra, facing contempt proceedings for his tweets against the Supreme Court, has issued a statement asking the apex court to hear ‘more salient matters’ in the time that could be spent hearing his contempt case. Attorney General KK Venugopal had on Thursday given his consent to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against the comedian over a series of his tweets on the Supreme Court’s verdict granting interim bail to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami. In a series of tweets, Kamra had called the Supreme Court the “most supreme joke” in the country, and had posted an edited photo of the Supreme Court, coloured saffron, with a flag of the BJP hoisted on it.

In a statement that he uploaded on Twitter on Friday, Kamra said that he does not intend to apologise or retract his tweets. He said his view hasn't changed because the “silence of the Supreme Court of India on matters of other's personal liberty cannot go uncriticized.”

“I don't intend to retract my tweets or apologise for them. I believe they speak for themselves. I wish to volunteer having the time that would be allotted to the hearing of my contempt petition (20 hours at the very least, if Prashant Bhushan's hearing is anything to go by), to other matters and parties who have not been as lucky and privileged as I am to jump the queue,” Kamra wrote.

Kamra was referring to the Supreme Court’s verdict in August where it fined Prashant Bhushan Re 1 for two of his tweets. The court had been questioned for taking suo motu cognisance of Prashant Bhushan’s tweets, holding back-to-back hearings, and delivering a verdict within 24 days, that too at a time when the court was hearing only urgent cases amid the COVID-19 pandemic while many other reportedly more urgent cases remained pending.

Kamra stated that as much as he is “enjoying” a platform with a “VIP audience” such as the Attorney General and the judges of the Supreme Court, a “time slot before the Supreme Court is a scarce commodity.”

Kamra wrote, “May I suggest the demonetisation petition, the petition challenging the revocation of J&K's special status, the matter of the legality of electoral bonds or countless other matters that are more deserving of time and attention,” adding, “To slightly misquote Senior Advocate Harish Salve "Will the heavens fall if more salient matters are allotted my time?’ ”

Kamra added in his statement, “The Supreme Court of India hasn't yet declared my tweets anything as of now but if and when they do I hope they can have a small laugh before declaring them Contempt of Court. Also in one of my tweets, I had asked for replacement of the photo of Mahatma Gandhi at the Supreme Court of India with that of Harish Salve. I would like to add that Pandit Nehru photo should also be replaced with Mahesh Jethmalani.”

Kamra’s comments come a day after the Attorney General gave his consent to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against him. The AG had held that Kamra’s tweets are “not only in bad taste but clearly cross the line between humour and contempt of the Court.” 

Ten letters were sent to the AG seeking contempt action against Kamra, and according to reports, the AG has given his consent to eight of them. The individuals who made these requests can now file contempt cases against Kamra. 

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