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Kunal Kamra's 'Scandalous Tweets' Can't Be Labelled Jokes; They Undermine Public Faith In Judiciary : Law Student's Rejoinder In Supreme Court

Srishti Ojha
13 March 2021 9:11 AM GMT
Kunal Kamras Scandalous Tweets Cant Be Labelled Jokes; They Undermine Public Faith In Judiciary : Law Students Rejoinder In Supreme Court
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Law student Srirang Katneshwarkar, who filed a contempt petition against Kunal Kamra for his tweets, has submitted a rejoinder affidavit before the Supreme Court responding to Kamra's affidavit before the top Court. In his affidavit, Katneshwarkar has stated that Kamra through his affidavit tried to justify his scandalous tweets, and there has been no apology and no remorse on his...

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Law student Srirang Katneshwarkar, who filed a contempt petition against Kunal Kamra for his tweets, has submitted a rejoinder affidavit before the Supreme Court responding to Kamra's affidavit before the top Court. In his affidavit, Katneshwarkar has stated that Kamra through his affidavit tried to justify his scandalous tweets, and there has been no apology and no remorse on his end.

In response to Kamra's submissions that the tweets were funny, the contempt petitioner has stated that an ordinary prudent man can gather from the tweets that the tweets were obnoxious, and Kamra should be prosecuted and punished. Further, it has been added that Kamra has tried to label his scandalous tweets as jokes, and has forgotten in his hubris as an 'alleged or so called comedian' that a joke is a thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, or a story with a funny punchline.

"When the alleged contemnor understands that jokes are not reality then there was no need for the alleged contemnor to publish the scandalous tweets and thereafter undermine the dignity of this Hon'ble Court from the minds of the people at large and further to shake confidence which the common people have about the justice delivery system. The scandalous tweets published by the alleged contemnor are beyond ignorance and this Hon'ble Court may punish the alleged contemnor strictly by setting an example." Srirang Katneshwarkar says in his affidavit.

According to the petitioner, it appears from Kamra's conduct that he believes in getting defamed because it includes 'fame', and to dissuade him and like minded persons from repeating acts of criminal contempt, it is necessary to punish him with maximum punishment.

According to Katneshwarkar, Kamra's claim that his tweets may not shake faith of people in the Supreme Court is false as having 1.7 million followers on twitter, a 'keyboard warrior' like Kamra can definitely influence the minds of atleast some of his followers which may create a deadly chain reaction. He has also stated that it cannot be denied that keyboard warriors like Kamra can inculcate poisonous ideas in people's minds. Calling Kamra's submissions a 'feeble attempt to brands his scandalous tweets as jokes' he has further stated that Kamra had no business to suggest that public's faith in Judiciary is found on the Institution's own actions.

By suggesting that the contempt petitioner lacks a "sense of humour", Kunal Kamra has shown the acrimony in his mind; he should introspect and change his "malevolent attitude"- says the rejoinder filed in SC by the petitioner.

Katneshwarkar, in his affidavit has submitted that Kamra's statement "I promise this Bench that I will respect any decision that comes my way with a broad smile" shows his scornful attitude.

Calling the content of Kamra's affidavit 'nothing but brazen aggravated contempt', the petitioner has cited the principle of "Contemporanea Expositio Est Optima Et Fortissima In Lerge" which means the best and surest mode of construing an instrument is to read it in the sense which would have been applied when it was drawn up. According to the petitioner, even though it is a principle of interpretation, it needs to be taken into consideration while repelling the justification of Karna justifying his scandalous tweets.

The petitioner has submitted that Kamra has tried to teach the Court its duties to protect fundamental rights of the citizens, but if Kamra really was a cognizant citizen, he would have taken effective steps by participating in court proceedings.

Comedian Kunal Kamra in his counter affidavit before the Supreme Court, stated that his tweets were not published with the intention of insulting the Court but to draw its attention to and prompt an engagement with issues that he believes are relevant to the Indian democracy. Kamra had also said that public faith in the Judiciary cannot be shaken by any criticism or commentary but only by the Courts own actions and accord.

Kamra stated no institution of power, not even Courts are beyond criticism in a democracy. "I believe that constitutional offices, including judicial offices — know no protection from jokes. I do not believe that any high authority, including judges, would find themselves unable to discharge their duties only on account of being the subject of satire or comedy," he added.


The Top Court's bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah had issued notice Kamra on December 18, on the petitions seeking criminal contempt action against him for his tweets against the Judiciary.

Kamra had posted a picture of the Supreme Court dressed in saffron colour with the flag of the ruling party, the BJP. He also published several controversial remark against the Supreme Court 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 Attorney General for India had found these tweets to be 'highly objectionable' and he stated 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.

Responding to the proceedings, Kamra submitted that his tweets were meant as a joke for people who share the same perception as him. However, with the growing culture of intolerance in the country, assault on freedom of speech and expression has become a common case.

The affidavit had stated,

"Irreverence and hyperbole are essential tools for the comedic enterprise. A comic raises questions on issues of public interest in their own unique way. The language and style I resort to are not with the intention to insult, but to draw attention to and prompt an engagement with issues that I believe are relevant to our democracy and which have also been raised in the public domain by more serious and learned commentators.

Comedy does not permit an artist the luxury of articulating the basis of jokes through long, nuanced essays or measured prose. Brevity may not be a familiar concept for the legal community, but it continues to be the soul of comedy."

He had therefore urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the proceedings instituted against him and demonstrate that the freedom of speech and expression is a cardinal constitutional value, and the possibility of being offended is a necessary incident to the exercise of this right.

Kamra had concluded with the following words:

"If this Court believes I have crossed a line and wants to shut down my internet indefinitely, then I too will write Happy Independence Day post cards every 15th August just like my Kashmiri friends"

Click here to read/download the rejoinder




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