Supreme Court to decide on contempt proceedings against Kunal Kamra today: All you need to know
The Supreme Court will on Friday pronounce its order over a clutch of petitions seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against stand-up comic Kunal Kamra for his tweets “mocking” the top court and, especially Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde and justice DY Chandrachud. A three-judge bench, comprising justice Ashok Bhushan, justice RS Reddy and justice MR Shah, had reserved its order on Thursday.
Here’s all you need to know about the case:
1. The controversy pertains to Kamra posting a series of tweets on November 11 after a two-judge bench, comprising justice Chandrachud and justice Indira Banerjee, granted interim bail to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in a 2018 alleged abetment to suicide case.
2. The same day, law student Skand Bajpai wrote to Attorney General KK Venugopal, seeking his consent that contempt proceedings be initiated against Kamra. In a tweet on November 12, Bajpai posted on Twitter a letter from AG, in which Venugopal gave his consent.
3. In the letter, Venugopal wrote that he had gone through Kamra’s tweets and found these insinuated that the “Supreme Court is not an independent and impartial institution and so too its judges, but is, on the other hand, a Court of the ruling party, the BJP.” The insinuation, Venugopal wrote, was “gross.”
4. Reacting to this, Kamra refused to apologise. In a statement on Twitter, he said, “The tweets I recently put out have been found in contempt of court. All that I tweeted was from my view of the Supreme Court of India giving a partial decision in favour of a Prime Time Loudspeaker.”
5. “My 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,” Kamra added.
6. Days later, AG Venugopal gave fresh consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Kamra, this time over a November 18 tweet in which the stand-up comic allegedly mocked CJI Bobde.
7. A total of eight petitioners, including law students and lawyers, have sought initiation of contempt proceedings against Kamra in the two cases, as per Bar and Bench.
8. Under section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, consent of AG or that of the solicitor general, is needed for initiating contempt proceedings against a person.
9. Kunal Kamra is a vocal critic of Arnab Goswami. In January, Kamra had confronted Goswami on a flight, following which he was barred by several airlines, including IndiGo, on whose Mumbai-Lucknow flight the incident took place.
10. Kamra moved Delhi High Court challenging the flight ban. The court, however, declined to entertain his plea, disapproving his behaviour on the flight and noting that such behaviour can’t be allowed on an airline.