Attorney General K K Venugopal on Thursday granted consent for initiation of contempt proceedings against stand up comic artist Kunal Kamra for his tweets which allegedly criticised the Supreme Court.
Venugopal in his letter to one of the applicants who had sought the consent of the top law officer for initiation of contempt proceedings against Kamra said, “I am in receipt of your request for consent to initiate proceedings by way of criminal contempt against Kunal Kamra. I have gone through each one of the tweets which you have annexed for consent to proceed by way of criminal contempt against Kunal Kamra.”
“The tweets which I am extracting below arc not only in bad taste but clearly cross the line between humour and contempt of the Court. For example: “Honour has left the building (Supreme Court) long back” and The Supreme Court of this Country is the most Supreme joke of this country,” added the letter.
In one of the letters seeking Attorney General’s consent for initiation of contempt proceedings against Kamra, three lawyers have claimed that he allegedly attempted to lower the authority of the Supreme Court of India through his tweets after the apex court had granted interim bail to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.
“Apart from this, is a picture of the Supreme Court building dressed in saffron colours with a flag of the ruling political party, namely the BJP having replaced the Tricolour. This is a gross insinuation against the entirety of the 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 BJP’s benefit. All this in my opinion constitutes criminal contempt of Court,” further added the letter.
“The other tweets also are highly objectionable, and it would perhaps be for the Court to decide the question as to whether these tweets also would constitute criminal contempt of the Supreme Court of India. 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. I, therefore, grant consent to proceed by way of initiating contempt proceedings against Kunal Kamra,” concluded the letter.
In a series of tweets, Kamra had said, “The Supreme Court of this country is the most Supreme joke of this country…” He added, “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…”
“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. *Justice*,” he further tweeted.
“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…,” he added.