CJI recuses himself from Kunal Kamra case

The contempt petitions filed by law student Shrirang Katneshwarkar were contested by Mr. Kamra in his affidavit.

Published - January 05, 2023 11:31 pm IST - NEW DELHI

CJI D.Y. Chandrachud | File Photo

CJI D.Y. Chandrachud | File Photo | Photo Credit: MOORTHY RV

Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on Thursday recused himself from hearing a contempt of court petition against stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra.

One of the petitions concerned comments made by Mr. Kamra on social media in connection with a November 2020 decision of the top court to grant bail to journalist Arnab Goswami.

Chief Justice Chandrachud had headed the Bench which granted bail to Mr. Goswami.

The contempt petitions filed by law student Shrirang Katneshwarkar were contested by Mr. Kamra in his affidavit.

Mr. Kamra had said the Supreme Court should trust the public not to form opinions on the basis of a few jokes cracked by him on Twitter. Mr. Kamra said “taking offence” to comedy or satire had become a much-loved indoor sport in a growing culture of intolerance. He had refused to apologise or retract his tweets.

A joke is a story with a punchline, Mr. Katneshwarkar had noted. Mr. Katneshwarkar had filed a rejoinder that “he [Kamra] says the tweets are funny. An ordinary prudent man can gather they are obnoxious”.

The law student had said Mr. Kamra had forgotten in his “hubris” as an “alleged/so-called” comedian that jokes were meant to cause amusement or laughter. He had termed Mr. Kamra a haughty man “puffed up with conceit” who wanted to justify his “scandalous tweets” about the Supreme Court as “jokes”.

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