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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Kamra says not sorry, contempt plea filed in SC

Attorney General K K Venugopal on Thursday said Kamra's tweets "are not only in bad taste but clearly cross the line between humour and contempt of the court".

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: November 14, 2020 7:55:08 am
Kunal Kamra, Kunal Kamra contempt of court, Kunal Kamra case, Kunal Kamra tweets, Kunal Kamra on Supreme Court, Kunal Kamra on Arnab Goswami, Indian ExpressStand-up comedian Kunal Kamra. (YouTube/Kunal Kamra)

A day after the Attorney General granted consent for initiation of criminal contempt of court proceedings against him over his tweets on the Supreme Court and a judge, stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra said he does not intend to retract his tweets or apologise for them.
In a letter addressed to judges and Attorney General K K Venugopal, which was posted on Twitter Friday, Kamra said: “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.”

“I wish to volunteer having the time that would be allotted to the hearing of my contempt petition… to other matters and parties who have not been as lucky and privileged as I am to jump the queue. May I suggest the demonetisation petition, the petition challenging the revocation of J&K’s special status, the matter of the legality of electoral bonds or countless other matters that are more deserving of time and attention,” he said.

Opinion| Highest court does well to underline what it should do. Hopefully, it listens to itself — and stands up for a stand-up comedian.

“The Supreme Court of India hasn’t yet declared my tweets anything as of now but if and when they do, I hope they can have a small laugh before declaring them Contempt of Court,” he said.

Meanwhile, two law students and a group of lawyers moved the Supreme Court, seeking contempt action against Kamra for “scandalising” and “lowering the authority” of the court.

The plea was filed by law students Shrirang Katneshwarkar and Nitika Duhan, and advocates Amey Abhay Sirsikar, Abhishek Sharad Raskar and Sattyendra Vinayak Muley.

A day earlier, Attorney General Venugopal, responding to multiple letters of request, had granted his consent for initiation of contempt proceedings against Kamra, saying his tweets were “not only in bad taste but clearly cross the line between humour and contempt of the court”.

Explained | What is ‘contempt of court’, and why does the A-G have to consent to these proceedings?

Kamra posted the tweets Wednesday, the day a vacation bench of the Supreme Court granted interim bail to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in an alleged abetment to suicide case.

In their petition against Kamra, the law students and advocates said: “The alleged contemnor has the following of 1.7 million people. The scandalous tweets of the alleged contemnor were seen by his followers and many of them retweeted the same… The petitioners thought that the tweets published by the alleged contemnor scandalise this Hon’ble Court and further lower the authority of this Hon’ble Court.”
They contended that the “tweets published by” Kamra “are in such bad taste that an ordinary prudent man can gather that the alleged contemnor has scandalised… and further lowered the authority of” the court. They said, “no law abiding citizen of this country would tolerate such act of publication of tweets by the alleged contemnor”.

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 Attorney General K K Venugopal’s letter stating, in his opinion, remarks made by Kunal Kamra constitute contempt of court.

More than thousand people had retweeted the tweets, the petition stated, adding that Kamra “was fully aware of his action”.
“When some persons tried to make” him “aware about the contempt of this Hon’ble Court”, he was “rude, arrogant and unapologetic”, the petition stated, pointing out that his “conduct… shows that he has no regard for” the Supreme Court and, therefore, deserves to be punished under provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

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