Wednesday, 5 October, 2022
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Comedian Kunal Kamra faces contempt proceedings for his tweets criticising SC bail to Arnab

AG K.K. Venugopal gave consent to 8 persons to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Kamra for his 'objectionable' tweets on SC order granting bail to Arnab Goswami.

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New Delhi: Attorney General (AG) K.K. Venugopal Thursday gave consent to eight persons, including lawyers, to initiate contempt of court proceedings against stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra for his tweets criticising the Supreme Court and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

“This is gross insinuation against the entirety of the Supreme Court of India — that the Supreme Court of India 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 BJP, existing for the BJP’s benefit. All this in my opinion constitutes criminal contempt of court,” the AG said in his letter to the lawyers.

In a series of tweets posted Wednesday, after the top court’s order to grant bail to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in a 2018 suicide abetment case, Kamra criticised the SC for fast-tracking the hearing of his appeal.

Goswami had moved the top court against the Bombay High Court order that refused him bail as an interim measure until it disposed of his plea to quash the FIR.

The bench, also comprising Justice Indira Banerjee, had expressed concern over high courts failing to do their duty to preserve personal liberty of citizens and even questioned the invocation of abetment to suicide charge in a commercial dispute. 

Following Kamra’s tweets, the AG’s office received eight letters, asking for his consent to initiate contempt of court proceedings under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, and the Supreme Court of India rules.

Tweets are ‘highly objectionable’

In the AG’s opinion, Kamra’s tweets are “highly objectionable” and constitute criminal contempt of court.

He, however, said it was for the top court to take a final call and decide the question whether the tweets amounted to criminal contempt.

Venugopal asserted freedom of speech and expression is not absolute, but is subject to the law of contempt.

“I find that today people believe that they can boldly and brazenly condemn the Supreme Court of India and its judges by exercising what they believe is their freedom of speech,” he said.

Venugopal’s letter further stated: “…I believe that it is time that people understand that attacking the Supreme Court of India brazenly will attract punishment under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.”


Also read: On Republic TV, Arnab was news, news was Arnab. They never missed him


 

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39 COMMENTS

  1. आजकल भारत का नागरिक देश के ज्वलंत विषयों पर अपनी राय रखने से नहीं चूकता है। ब्रिटिश इंडिया में जब – जब भारतीय LONDON पढ़ने गए तो वहां जाकर आजादी का मतलब समझे और भारत में आकर देश की आजादी की लड़ाई में शामिल हो गए। अब जो LONON में होता है वही यहाँ होने लगा है। क्या इसमें आश्चर्य है?

  2. SC answerable to country if any concerns raised on its functioning and priority, if any lapses front from SC, every citizen has liberty to question. SC cannot conclude with contempt of court without proper introspection.

    SC belongs to nations not to any govts or judges to enjoy their wish list and priorities.

    Govts and go. Wake up SC it is a day light.

  3. Hope SC realise its duty on priority to end this contempt cases. SC is not above law.
    SC should not create a situation to question on its functioning from every individual. Since Modi came to power SC struggling to deliver fair judgements which is open truth. Wish SC to act responsibly to retain the public confidence and to improve its credibility.

    Politicians come and go, no body worried.
    Institutions like SC, RBI, Education, etc runs country towards future.

    Politicians here to enjoy power and luxury.

    People above the law and SC, SC cannot supress people. Which is against the nature and no provision for SC to escape with same reasons. SC answerable to country.

  4. Hardly anyone had heard of this college drop out turned comedian till his misbehavior with Shri Arnab Goswami on a flight. Thereafter the free publicity got to his mind. Now, egged on by luddite liberals and selective secularists, he is more know for his abusive tweets than for any body of work, much like Smt Swara Bhaskar. Supreme Court will do well to ignore him and he will disappear.

  5. Without proper knowledge one should not open his mouth,,, this nothing but his attempt of cheap publicity

  6. Arnab’s shouting inside Mumbai court, how can that not tantamount to contemt. His aggressively approaching the Hon’ble Judge, how come no lawyers write to AG on that issue. Saddened to see such unlevel playing field in world’s largest democracy.

  7. So Kamra will be in prison and it will be non-bailable.

    In a fascist state, nothing can be criticised – the Supreme Leader, his party, his lackeys and his storm troopers, and the institutions he or the party commands.

    • Sir I know who u r hiding behind that name. You know very well what fascism is. Dont trivialise such a great evil like this. This country has given you everything. A right to study, work, pray & reproduce. Just look what your brothers have done to hindus in neighbouring countries. Just look at the rest of the islamic world as well. Please be fairto your fellow citizens. Appreciate the majority community, that they have always been with you, always. Just look within. Just look within. And if you cant, its my humble request to not use words lightly. Specially words like fascism, holocaust etc.

  8. POWER CORRUPTS AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY. THE SC TREATS ITSELF AS ABOVE LAW AND AS LAW UNTO ITSELF, ACTS AT IT’S WILL AND TAKES LIBERTIES TO DO AND UNDO THINGS. LEGALLY SPEAKING IT CANNOT INTSELF INITIATE CRIMINAL CONTEMPT OF COURT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST ITSELF BECAUSE THEY ARE INTERESTED PARTY AND THERE IS CONFLICT OF INTEREST, MORE SO WHEN IT IS NOT ACCOUNTABLE TO ANY. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS BUT NORMAL AND NATURAL TO EXPECT THE SC JUDGES GETTING ARBITRARY, DICTATORIAL, ARROGANT.
    THERE ARE HUNDRED AND THOUSANDS OF CASES WHERE THE JUDGES DO NOT OBEY THE LAW OF THE LAND AND LOWER COURT JUDGES DO NOT OBEY THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION OF ARTICLE 141, OF IMPLEMENTING THE SC JUDGEMENTS WHATSOEVER, YET THE GUILTY ARE NOT PROCEEDED AGAINST BECAUSE THEY ARE OWN PEOPLE, IN-HOUSE PERSON.
    THE WRITER HAD FILED WRIT FOR DAMAGES AGAINST TWO JUDGES OF THE J&K HIGH COURT. THE REGISTRAR JUDICIAL (UNDER HIDDEN AGENDA OF THWARTING PETITIONERS IN PERSON AND SAVING JUDGES) FIRST PUT THE WRITER TO GREAT EXASPERATION IN NOT REGISTERING THE WRIT PETITIONS. HE THEN SO CALLED APPEAL AGAINST THE REGISTRAR JUDICIAL’S ORDER BEFOR3E THE SC ITSELF. BUT THE CHIEF JUSTICE IN HIS CHAMBER WROTE IN THE ORDER ON 10.2.2017 (IN WRIT PETITION (CRL) 10/2017). ON OUR ASKING THE PETITIONER AGREES NOT TO PRESS THE INSTANT APPEALS AGAINST THE REGISTRAR’S ORDERS THEREBY DROPPED WATER ON THE PETITIONER’S EFFORTS AND MADE HIM TO GASP AND WONDER..
    THE BENCH THEN, AS A SWEET CANDY TO THE PETITIONER, PASSED ORDER TO THE CHIEF JUSTICE J&K HIGH COURT OF J&K FOR LISTING AND HEARING THE WRITER’S CASES EXPEDITIOUSLY. THE CHIEF JUSTICE TOOL IT ILL AND NOT ONLY DID NOT LIST THE CASE AS HE WAS SO CALLED DIRECTED, BUT DID NOT LIST HIS CASES AT ALL TILL THIS DATE, WHEN 3 YRS AND 10 MONTHS HAVE PASSED BY.
    TWO CONTEMPT PETITIONS WERE FILED IN THE SC AGAINST THE CJ J&K HC BUT THEY ARE EATING DUST IN THE SC STACKS.
    THIS IS HOW THE COURTS, ESPECIALLY SC OF INDIA FUNCTION.

    • I agree Hindus have a lot of dumb jack asses, that is why India could not come up. But the chai wallah is the brightest Hindu in India and see how India has now come up. The whole world is in awe.

  9. So the SC Court found this tweet as contempt of Court where they themselves were telling if u find Republic Tv nonsense change the channel ignore it, why SC cant do the same now.

  10. The dictum that justice not only must be done but seem to have been done.

    The justice here is supposed to be for the suicide victim. Lower court has taken the offenders into judicial custody. Instead of approaching the same court for bail, this was taken up in HC. HC in its wisdom has said, reopening of the case is perfectly legit and if there is grievance for the bail, this could be achieved through lower court. SC showed so much interest in this specific case in terms of taking it up for hearing and also has chided HC for rejecting the bail. Whereas HC has only said, without going into the merits of the case, bail has to be given by the lower court. If it is denied, only then can it hear and then decide.

    SC decisions – (taking up the case for immediate hearing and granting of instant bail without letting the lower court which has gone into the details to decide) in this case are actually deplorable. Going by this judgment, custodial interrogation is impossible for abetment cases.

    Arnab and Kangana has to comment on the nepotism in judiciary also. Judicial reforms are much needed here than in bollywood. ie, how many SC judges have their parents and uncles as ex-SC judges. Considering full SC bench is around 35, how is that many father-son duos are SC judges. Even Modi is not concerned about parivarvad here.
    Case registry process has to be made transparent. Every case filed has to be serialized and any out of order handling has to be remarked which should be viewable for everyone.

  11. In such a case Judges should not decide whether it is contempt or not. It should be at least few retired judges as jury.

  12. Aside from my opinion of Kunal Kamra himself being a questionable character, I think citizens should exercise their freedom of speech knowing the implications that come with such a responsibility. The AG is right when he says that people have become rather blatant in their criticisms without any thought as to their implications. Freedom of speech has been actively misused. Unfortunately, people like Kamra are influencers and their tweets are followed actively. This puts them in a more responsible position but I doubt if characters like him are cautious in their handling of this power. Whatever beef he may have against Arnab Goswami, to slight the highest court of India without substantial evidence and to base ‘his judgement’ on what seems like his opinion is a dangerous precedent and must be penalized.

  13. Hope Mr. Kunal Kamra is prosecuted and lodged behind bars for this brazen insult if the SC and its judges. He is a repeat offender and deserves no mercy.

  14. Welcome what he said about personal liberty But what about those languishing in jail getting tareek par tareekh or no tareekh for days months n even years Done have completed sentence but procedural bottlenecks prevents their release Stan Swamy had written a book about languishing prisoners of system But was arrested himself by NIA
    and these 4000or so are not Arnab nor they can afford harish salve Their name may be like budhan Sao or atmaram or samshudin or Joseph kerketta or shaubhik Chakravorty
    All those are not high n mighty like this Arnab they are not getting bails for petty crimes because they are children of a lesser God

  15. What is the grudge of Kunal, against Arnab? or is it, like an unknown comedian wants free publicity by attacking a very popular anchor.
    No body is laughing at your antics, Kunal.

  16. Democracy is of the people for the people by the people. People are supreme. Not the courts. Courts verdicts can be criticized. We can’t stop enforcement. Shri KK Venugopal is hiding behind constitutional words and not the essence. Contempt should be used if someone overrides the rule not criticize it. So where is he placing the courts, above people? KK Venugopal is only denigrading the honour of people and their freedom in democracy by putting coutrs before people.

  17. Shekhar Gupta is nothing but a paid stooge of Congress. Whole Indian Express used to laugh on his habit of licking asses and amassing wealth. He is a petty fixer with several veils behind his journalist looking face. He handpicks journalists who are against BJP and sets agenda by twisting headlines. The joker has lost whatever little credibility he ever had. Pathetic guy…..

    He is spoiling the career of ALL journalists in his team as they are likely not to get any job anywhere. Their resume will say – worked for a paid portal masquerading as a news portal. The reporters of the print need to call some people on-ground and find out perception about them. Invest few lakhs and start any Opinion portal. That is what this portal is. One feels sad for the staff of this company.

  18. This issue needs to be ruled upon conclusively by a large Constitution Bench of the SC. It could set out guidelines regulating how judgments and orders of the apex court can be analysed and commented upon. Not just by lawyers who are conversant with the finer points of law and jurisprudence, but by journalists or ordinary members of the public. 2. The issue of judicial arrears at various levels is well known. As is the average period taken for disposal. Each case taken up on priority, out of turn, pushes everyone further back. At the very least, it would be a healthy convention if the judgment in such cases states clearly the public interest involved in taking it up for immediate disposal and relief. That would reassure others who might be similarly placed that there were just grounds for breaking the queue, not mere favouritism. 3. The larger question is criticism. Justice Chandrachud opined that the state government should have ignored Mr Arnab Goswami’s barbs; he himself does not watch Republic TV. When, to a common citizen, it appears that someone is being granted relief out of turn in a colossal overburdened system, eyebrows will be raised. The law of contempt is best invoked in the rarest of rare circumstances. Else it will lose its edge. The one rupee fine on Shri Prashant Bhushan arose out of a consciousness that the public was overwhelmingly on his side.

  19. Cheerleaders of Arnb happy for this consent.
    Goi forgot emergency cry of few day ago.
    What about those who like and retweeted. Its 50k+

    • We witnessed the spectacle of the entire govt of India falling over itself to protect Arnab Goswami’s constitutional rights but when it comes to Varavara Rao or Sudha Bharadwaj or Kunal Kamra suddenly it is “criminal!”
      What is sauce for the goose ought to be sauce for the gander. Otherwise today when you have power you are the oppressor; tomorrow when power changes hands your people will have to suffer oppression. And unless institutions stay strictly impartial, they will be dragged into this morass and lose all their credibility. Already Prashant Bhushan has singed the judiciary, I would advise the SC to strike off the contempt of court law altogether and save itself from further ignominy.

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