No apology, no fine: Kunal Kamra responds to contempt charges

Attorney General KK Venugopal on Thursday had granted permission to three petitioners for initiating criminal contempt proceeding against Kamra for his comments against the Supreme Court

Kunal Kamra
In his response to the incident, the 32-year-old Kamra wrote a Facebook post on Friday morning | Photo: Facebook

In a sharp response following the attorney general’s nod for contempt proceedings against him, comedian Kunal Kamra has said he neither intends to retract his tweets nor apologise for them. He is accused of contempt of court for his tweets criticising the Supreme Court for granting interim bail to Republic TV head Arnab Goswami in an abetment to suicide case.

“My view hasn’t changed because the silence of the Supreme Court of India on matters of other’s personal liberty cannot go uncriticized. I don’t intend to retract my tweets or apologise for them. I believe they speak for themselves,” the comedian wrote on Facebook.

On Thursday, Attorney General KK Venugopal granted permission to a law student and two lawyers for initiating criminal contempt proceeding against Kamra.

In his response to the incident, 32-year-old Kamra wrote a Facebook post on Friday morning with the apparent headline, “No lawyers, No apology, No fine, No waste of space”, which was addressed to the “Judges” and “Mr KK Venugopal”.

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In his address, Kamra didn’t pull back from inserting puns and went on to assert that “an audience of Supreme Court judges and the nation’s top most law officer is perhaps as VIP an audience as it gets.”

“But I realise that more than any entertainment venue I would perform in, a time slot before the Supreme Court is a scarce commodity… I believe I must confess I very much love holding court and enjoying a platform with a captive audience,” said the comedian.

Holding the top court biased over the Arnab bail judgment, the Republic TV anchor whom he described as a “Prime Time Loudspeaker” in his post, Kamra asserted that the “silence” of the apex judicial body “on other’s personal liberty cannot go uncriticised”.

The comedian was referring to the Supreme Court’s judgment on Wednesday, which said that it would be a travesty of justice if personal liberty of a person was curtailed like this, referring to Arnab’s arrest.

He further said he wishes that the time to be allotted to the contempt proceedings against him be given to other matters and parties “who have not been as lucky and privileged as I am to jump the queue.”

Related news | Kunal Kamra faces contempt case over tweets on SC bail to Arnab Goswami

“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. To slightly misquote Senior Advocate Harish Salve ‘Will the heavens fall if more salient matters are allotted my time?’.”

“The Supreme Court of India hasn’t yet declared my tweets anything as of now but if and when they do I hope they can have a small laugh before declaring them Contempt of Court,” he said, adding, “Also in one of my tweets I had asked for replacement of the photo of Mahatma Gandhi at the Supreme Court of India with that of Harish Salve. I would like to add that Pandit Nehru photo should also be replaced with Mahesh Jethmalani.”

Among the tweets that led to the judicial intervention against him are the ones where he called the Supreme Court the “Supreme joke of this country”. Some of those can be found below:

Kunal Kamra, an observational comedian, has been a vocal critic of Arnab Goswami and the Modi government. He hit the headlines earlier this year for heckling the Republic TV head on an Indigo flight, which led to him to the ‘no-fly list’ of many airlines.

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