Attorney General gives consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Kunal Kamra

Two separate letters were sent to Attorney General KK Venugopal seeking action against Kunal Kamra over his tweets on SC’s verdict on Arnab Goswami.
Comedian Kunal Kamra
Comedian Kunal Kamra
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Attorney General KK Venugopal has given his consent to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against comedian Kunal Kamra over a series of his tweets on the Supreme Court’s verdict granting interim bail to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami. The AG gave consent to a letter petition filed by a Pune lawyer and two law students who had earlier on Thursday written to the AG seeking permission to start contempt proceedings against the comedian. According to Live Law, the AG observed that Kamra’s tweets are “not only in bad taste but clearly cross the line between humour and contempt of the Court.” 

A total of ten letters were sent to the AG seeking his permission to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Kamra. The Attorney General has given consent to eight such letters. In a series of tweets, 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 AG pointed out that these tweets constitute contempt of court.

“This is gross insinuation against the entirety of Supreme Court of India that the Supreme Court of India is not an independent and impartial institution and so too its judges, but on the other hand is a Court of the ruling party, the BJP, existing for the BJPs benefit. All this in my opinion constitutes criminal contempt of Court,” the AG said in his letter.

Kamra in a series of tweets had lashed out at the Supreme Court after a vacation bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee granted Arnab interim bail in the 2018 abetment to suicide case. 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).”

Screenshots of Kunal Kamra's tweets

The AG in his letter also stated that the other tweets are also “highly objectionable” and that the court should decide whether these tweets also would constitute criminal contempt

“I find that today people believe that they can boldly and brazenly condemn the Supreme Court of India and its judges by exercising what they believe is their freedom of speech. But under the Constitution, the freedom of speech is subject to the law of contempt and I believe that it is time that people understand that attacking the Supreme Court of India unjustifiedly and brazenly will attract punishment under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1972,” the AG wrote in the letter, granting consent to initiating contempt proceedings against Kunal Kamra.

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