Contempt petition filed against comedian Kunal Kamra in Supreme Court
Two law students and three lawyers jointly filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday against stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra over his derogatory tweets against the SC for granting bail to journalist Arnab Goswami.
The interim bail to Goswami and two others in a 2018 abetment to suicide case of architect Anvay Naik was granted on Wednesday by a bench headed by justice DY Chandrachud.
The petition comes a day after the consent for filing contempt petition under Rule 3(c) of Rules Regulating Proceedings for Contempt of Supreme Court, 1975 was granted by attorney general (AG) KK Venugopal.
The petitioners are Shrirang Katneshwarkar, Nitika Duhan (both law students) and three lawyers, Amey Abhay Sirsikar, Abhishek Sharad Raskar and Satyendra Vinayak Muley.
On Thursday, AG KK Venugopal had granted consent for initiating contempt proceedings against Kamra.
Referring to his tweets describing the SC as most supreme joke of this country, the AG stated, “The tweets...are not only in bad taste but clearly cross the line between humour and contempt of the court.”
AG Venugopal said this was a “gross insinuation” against the Supreme Court that the court and its judges are not independent or impartial but exist for the BJP’s benefit.
The petitioners wrote to AG Venugopal on Wednesday seeking his consent to prosecute Kamra for contempt. The AG held that these tweets were contemptuous as he said, “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 unjustifiably and brazenly will attract punishment under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1972.”
The petition filed under the Contempt of Courts Act and Article 129 by advocate Nishant Katneshwarkar stated, “Petitioners have filed the present criminal contempt petition against the alleged contemnor for scandaliaing this court and further lowering the authority of this court by publishing tweets on twitter.com.”
Kamra subsequently issued a tweet refusing to apologise or delete his tweets. He has close to 1.7 million followers, many of whom had even retweeted these objectionable tweets, the petition stated.