A day after Attorney general KK Venugopal granted consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Kunal Kamra, the stand-up comedian on Friday tweeted an open letter to Supreme Court judges and the Centre’s top law officer and declared that he did not intend to retract or apologise for his remarks.
Kunal Kamra said the tweets, which have been found to be in bad taste by the attorney general, reflected his view on the Supreme Court’s ruling on Arnab Goswami’s bail request.
“My view hasn’t changed because the silence of the Supreme Court of India on matters of other’s personal liberty cannot go uncriticised. I don’t intend to retract my tweets or apologise for them. I believe they speak for themselves,” kunal Kamra said in the post titled “No lawyers, No apology, No fine, No waste of space”.
AG’s Consent to Contempt Proceeding Against Kamra
Bombay based lawyer, Rizwan Siddiquee, in his letter to AG has stated that Kamra’s tweets on a judgment passed by the Supreme Court, unsavoury comments on Justice DY Chandrachud and circulation of a morphed image of the Supreme Court premises, published on Twitter amounts to a “manifest attempt to lower the authority of the Supreme Court of India.”
The background of the tweets by Kunal Kamra was the Supreme Court order passed on Wednesday by a Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud granting bail to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief, Arnab Goswami.
The four tweets by Kunal Kamra which forms the basis of Siddiquee’s request are as follows:
1. The Supreme Court of this country is the most Supreme joke of this country…
2 .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…
3. 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.
4. 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…
Siddiquee has also highlighted that Kamra had posted a picture which was a morphed image of Supreme Court building giving it an Orange shade and depicting a BJP flag hoisted in the foyer of the Supreme Court.
Kunal Kamra’s Reply to AG’s Consent and Refusal to Apologise
Kunal Kamra tweeted a statement on Friday, in response to Attorney General KK Venugopal’s decision to grant consent to initiate contempt proceedings against him after at least ten individuals had written to the AG seeking his consent.
In the statement addressed to the Supreme Court judges and the AG, Kamra has suggested that rather than hearing the contempt plea against him, the Apex Court should consider hearing other matters where “parties have not been lucky and privileged” and that he would not “like 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..”
“To slightly misquote Senior Advocate Harish Salve, ‘Will the heavens fall if more salient matters are allotted my time?‘”, he has added.
The comedian has further stated that though the Supreme Court has not held his tweets to be contemptuous yet, he does hope that the judges “have a small laugh” before making their decision.
Referring to the Goswami episode, Kamra states that his tweets were his “view on the SC giving a partial decision in favor of a prime time loudspeaker.“
“I believe I must confess I very much love holding court and enjoying a platform with a captive audience. An audience of the SC judges and the nations top most law officer is perhaps as VIP as audience as it gets. But I realise that more than any entertainment venue I would perform in, a time slot before the Supreme Court is a scarce commodity.”
Read the Statement here: