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Supreme Court to decide on Friday if Kunal Kamra, Ruchita Taneja face contempt action

Kunal Kamra. File   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will pass orders on Friday on pleas to initiate contempt proceedings against stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra and cartoonist Rachita Taneja for scandalising the court and the highest judiciary with their tweets.

“Heard [the petitions]. We will pass orders tomorrow,” a three-judge Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan said at the end of the separate hearings in both cases of contempt of court on Thursday.

December 18 is the last working day for the court before closing for winter vacations.

In the case against Mr. Kamra, law student Shrirang Katneshwarkar’s counsel Nishant Katneshwarkar submitted that the tweets by the comic were scandalous.

Mr. Katneshwarkar went on to give a date-wise chronology of the various tweets of the comedian. The lawyer, while doing so, abruptly stopped at one point, saying “I don’t want to even read this tweet”.

He submitted that Attorney General K.K. Venugopal had already given his statutory consent.

Mr. Venugopal had consented to contempt action against Mr. Kamra, saying the tweets were grossly vulgar and obnoxious. They had a tendency to lower the authority of the Supreme Court and undermined public confidence in the court.

Mr. Kamra had refused to apologise or retract the tweets. Instead, he had tweeted that he wished to “volunteer” the time that may be allotted for hearing his contempt case to others “who have not been as lucky and privileged as I am 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,” Mr. Kamra had written in a statement, again on Twitter.

Appearing for the petitioner against Ms. Tameka, senior advocate P.S. Narasimha said there was a clear opinion from the Attorney General that her cartoons intended to scandalise and undermine the judiciary.

Mr. Narasimha submitted that the tweets deliberately intended to shake the confidence of the public in the judiciary.

The tweets concern the court’s grant of bail to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami. Mr. Venugopal had, in his consent letter, said the tweets containing the cartoon carried the gross insinuation that the court had ceased to be an impartial organ of the state.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 8:47:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-to-decide-on-friday-whether-to-initiate-contempt-proceedings-against-kunal-kamra/article33353475.ece

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