KK Venugopal, the Attorney General for India, has granted his consent for initiation of contempt proceedings against comedian Kunal Kamra over his latest tweet on November 18, passing comments on the Chief Justice of India. In the tweet, Kamra has shared a photo of two fingers on Twitter with a caption, “One of these two fingers for CJI Aravind Bobde…ok let me not confuse you it’s the middle one.”
The AG responding to the request made by Advocate Anuj Singh said, “The depiction of the two fingers with the legend that he means the middle one is to deliberately insult the Chief Justice of India, which would equally be an insult to the Supreme Court of India itself, which the Chief Justice heads. The said tweet is grossly vulgar and obnoxious, and I have no doubt that it would tend to lower the authority of the Supreme Court of India as well as undermine the confidence that the litigant public have in the institution of the Supreme Court of India itself. In view of the above, I accordingly grant consent under Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1975.”
The AG had granted consent on November 12 to initiate contempt proceedings against Kamra over his tweets against the Supreme Court after the Apex Court granted interim bail to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in the 2018 abetment to suicide case.
After the AG granted consent to begin proceedings against Kamra, a stand-up comic took social media to make his intention clear. In a tweet titled, ‘No lawyers, No apology, No fine, No waste of personal space’, Kunal, addressing the AG, said, “All he tweeted was from my view of the Supreme Court giving a partial decision in favour of a prime time loudspeaker.” He adds that his views haven’t changed “because the silence of the Supreme Court of India on matters of other’s personal liberties cannot go uncriticised”.
Moreover, Kunal said that he would wish to volunteer his time for the contempt hearing to other matters and parties, “who have not been as lucky and privileged as I am to jump the queue”. He suggested demonetisation petition, petition challenging the revocation of J&K’s special status, the matter of the legality of electoral bonds or countless other issues “that are more deserving of time and attention”. He added, “To slightly misquote Senior Advocate Harish Salve, ‘Will heavens fall if more salient matters are allotted my time?’.”
Meanwhile, on Thursday, a parliamentary committee sought a reply from Twitter within seven days after grilling the social media giant over the ‘obscene’ tweets by Kamra against the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice of India (CJI).