Attorney General of India K K Venugopal on Thursday gave his consent for initiating criminal contempt proceedings against stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra for his “objectionable tweets” against the Supreme Court and its judges, including Justice D Y Chandrachud.
The AG’s consent is a statutory requirement for contempt proceedings in the top court.
The AG was responding to multiple requests for initiating criminal contempt proceedings against Kamra. He said the tweets were “highly objectionable”, “bad in taste” and clearly “cross the line between humour and contempt of court”.
“I find that people today believe they can boldly and brazenly condemn the Supreme Court of India and its judges by exercising what they believe is their freedom of speech,” the AG said.
“But under the Constitution, freedom of speech is subject to the law of contempt and I believe it is time people understand that attacking the Supreme Court of India unjustifiedly and brazenly will attract punishment under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1972,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday afternoon, when the SC was discussing the bail plea of Republic TV’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, Kamra made a series of tweets about the top court and its judges.
“The Supreme Court of this country is the most Supreme joke of this country…,” one of his tweets read.
Kamra said, “Honour has left the building (Supreme Court) long back”.
In another tweet, he posted the picture of the Supreme Court coloured in saffron with a BJP flag hoisted atop.
“The pace at which the Supreme Court operates in matters of “National Interests” it’s time we replace Mahatma Gandhi’s photo with Harish Salve’s photo…,” Kamra’s another tweet read.
Pertinently, Harish Salve is Arnab Goswami’s lawyer who was pleading before the top court for his client’s bail.
Kamra also joked about Supreme Court judge DY Chandrachud in another tweet.
“DY Chandrachud is a flight attendant serving champagne to first class passengers after they’re fast tracked through, while commoners don’t know if they’ll ever be boarded or seated, let alone served. *Justice*,” he wrote.
In yet another tweet, the comedian said honour has left the building (Supreme Court) long back.
“All lawyers with a spine must stop the use of the prefix “Hon’ble” while referring to the Supreme Court or its judges. Honour has left the building long back…,” he wrote
Kamra even joked about the AG’s consent for initiating criminal contempt proceedings against him.
“Don’t even call it contempt of court call it contempt of future Rajya Sabha Seat,” he tweeted, with a laughing emoticon.