Supreme Court slapped notice to comedian Kunal Kamra on contempt pleas

The plea has alleged that after the top court granted interim bail to Goswami on November 11, Kamra “again published various tweets and thereby scandalized” the apex court and “further lowered” its authority. “The alleged contemnor (Kamra) 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 plea has claimed.

Supreme Court slapped notice to comedian Kunal Kamra on contempt pleas
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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday issued a show-cause notice to comedian Kunal Kamra on three contempt petitions accusing him of posting ‘contumacious’ (willfully disobedient against authority) tweets against the apex court.

The court said Kamra need not appear in person to answer the contempt charges. Attorney General KK Venugopal had given consent for filing contempt pleas against the stand-up comedian.

The court also issued a show-cause notice to comic artist Rachita Taneja. Both Kamra and Taneja have six-weeks to respond.

The pleas had come up on Thursday before a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan which heard the submissions of advocate Nishant R Katneshwarkar, who appeared for one of the petitioners, and claimed that Kamra had posted several tweets scandalous to the judiciary.

"All these tweets are scandalous and we had sought consent from the attorney general," Katneshwarkar told the bench, which also comprised justices R S Reddy and M R Shah.

The consent of either the attorney general or the solicitor general is necessary under section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 for initiating contempt proceedings against a person.

The attorney general had granted consent for initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against Kamra, saying the tweets are in “bad taste” and it is time that people understand that attacking the apex court brazenly will attract punishment under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1972.

One of the petitions has been filed by law student Shrirang Katneshwarkar and others, who have claimed that Kamra had started publishing tweets on November 11, when the top court was hearing the appeal of journalist Arnab Goswami against the Bombay High Court's order rejecting his plea seeking interim bail in a 2018 abetment to suicide case.

The plea has alleged that after the top court granted interim bail to Goswami on November 11, Kamra “again published various tweets and thereby scandalized” the apex court and “further lowered” its authority. “The alleged contemnor (Kamra) 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 plea has claimed.

It has alleged that when some persons tried to make Kamra aware about the contempt of court, he was “rude, arrogant and unapologetic” and his conduct shows that he has “no regard” for the top court. The plea has alleged that his tweets are in “such bad taste” that an ordinary prudent man can gather that he has scandalised the apex court.

News Source: - TOI