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.
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,” Kamra said in the post titled “No lawyers, No apology, No fine, No waste of space”.
He also suggested that the court’s time could be better utilised hearing cases relating to “demonetisation, 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 be sure, the Supreme Court hasn’t yet taken up the requests to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Kunal Kamra.
Rule 3(c) of the Rules to Regulate Proceedings for Contempt of the Supreme Court, 1975 requires a petition that seeks initiation of contempt proceedings to first get the consent of the attorney general.
In his communication granting his consent, KK Venugopal said it was time that people understand that attacking the apex court brazenly will attract punishment. “People believe that they can ‘boldly and brazenly condemn’ the Supreme Court of India and its judges by exercising their freedom of speech, but under the Constitution, the freedom of speech is subject to the law of contempt,” Venugopal had said on Thursday as he gave his consent.
“This is a gross insinuation against the entirety of the Supreme Court of India that the Supreme Court 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 Bharatiya Janata Party, existing for the BJP’s benefit,” the A-G had observed on Kamra’s tweets.