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Attorney General allows contempt proceedings against comic artist for her tweets

Comic illustrator Rachita Taneja had posted the tweets on the bail granted to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in an abetment to suicide case.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 1, 2020 10:39:30 pm
KK Venugopal, Attorney General , ruchita taneja, sanitarypanels, contempt of court ruchita taneja, kunal kamra contempt, indian expressBefore this, AG Venugopal had granted permission to initiate contempt proceedings against comedian Kunal Kamra. File)

The Attorney General for India, KK Venugopal, has granted consent to initiate contempt of court proceedings against comic illustrator Rachita Taneja, for her tweets on the bail granted to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in an abetment to suicide case.

The request for the contempt proceedings was made by a law student, Aditya Kashyap.

Of the two tweets over which contempt proceedings were sought, Venugopal said the first was a “gross insinuation of the Apex Court of this country”. Of the second, he said: “The tweet is clearly calculated to undermine the public confidence in the independence and impartiality of the Supreme Court of India,” LiveLaw reported.

In his letter seeking to initiate the contempt proceedings, Kashyap had cited Taneja’s tweets, and written, “The tweets and posts mentioned herein and the publication thereof scandalizes the Hon’ble Supreme Court, insinuates and attributes motives behind judgments of the Court. The line between humor and contempt of the Court has also been clearly violated. These posts not only erode the trust in the institution of justice by casting aspersions on the justice delivery mechanism, but also interferes with administration of justice. The tweets and posts are based on the distorted facts, inspired by malice, and amount to committing of ‘criminal contempt’,” quoted Bar and Bench.

Before this, Venugopal had granted permission to initiate contempt proceedings against comedian Kunal Kamra, on a request made by Allahabad-based Advocate Anuj Singh.

Kamra faces the contempt proceeding over a tweet he posted on Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on November 18.

Kunal Kamra, Kunal Kamra contempt of court, Kunal Kamra case, Kunal Kamra tweets, Kunal Kamra on Supreme Court, Kunal Kamra on Arnab Goswami, Indian Express Stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra. (YouTube/Kunal Kamra)

Granting consent under Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, Venugopal wrote the tweet was “grossly vulgar and obnoxious”.

“…and I have no doubt that it would tend to lower the authority of the Supreme Court of India as well as undermine the confidence that the litigant public have in the institute of the Supreme Court itself,” he wrote.

On November 12, Venugopal had granted his consent for initiation of criminal contempt of court proceedings against Kamra for his tweets on the Supreme Court the day before. Kamra had posted the tweets the day the court granted interim bail to Goswami. This had come after several letters of requests to the AG, including from Shrirang Katneshwarkar, an Aurangabad law student; Rizwan Siddiquee, an advocate; and Pune-based lawyers Amey Abhay Sirsikar and Abhishek Sharad Raskar.

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