The Attorney General for India, KK Venugopal has granted his consent for initiation of contempt proceedings against comedian Kunal Kamra, over his tweets about the Supreme Court in the wake of its order granting interim bail to Arnab Goswami.
Finding Kamra's tweet to be highly objectionable, the AG granted his consent under Section 15(1)(b) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 to initiate criminal contempt. He said,
"I find that today people believe that they can boldly and brazenly condemn the Supreme Court of India and its judges by exercising what they believe is their freedom of speech. But 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 unjustifiedly and brazenly will attract punishment under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1972."
The AG's letter referred to Kamra's comments such as 'honour has left the building(Supreme Court) long back' and 'Supreme Court of the country is the most Supreme joke of the country'.
The AG also noted that apart from these comments, Kamra posted a picture of the Supreme Court dressed in saffron colour with the flag of the ruling party, the BJP.
Taking strong exception to this tweet, the AG commented:
"This is a gross insinuation against the entirety of the Supreme Court of India that the Supreme Court of India is not an independent and impartial institution and so too its judges, but on the other hand is a court of the ruling party, the BJP, existing only for the BJP's benefit".
Kamra had made a series of tweets regarding the Supreme Court and initiation of contempt against him has been sought for 4 of his tweets posted in the wake of the Supreme Court granting interim bail to Arnab Goswami.
Complaining against the same, law student Skand Bajpai had sent a letter to the AG stating that the tweets and publications scandalize the Supreme Court and prejudices the minds of millions of people.
"During the course of the proceedings and also subsequent to the verdict, Mr. Kunal Kamra a stand-up comedian by profession through his Twitter handle having 1.7 million followers @kunalkamra88 published a series of tweets to scandalizes SC", the letter reads.
"If this kind of unruly and salacious statements are allowed to go unchecked, influencers having millions of social media followers would start making reckless allegations and diabolical statements against the judges," the letter said.The AG had earlier declined consent to initiate criminal contempt against actor-activist Swara Bhasker for her comments criticizing the Supreme Court observing that the comments did not amount to an attack on the Supreme Court.