New Delhi: After attorney general K.K. Venugopal granted his consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Kunal Kamra, the comedian issued a statement saying he does not intend to retract his tweets that were critical of the Supreme Court or apologise for them.
During and after the apex court’s proceedings to decide on granting interim bail to Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami, Kamra posted a series of tweets that were critical of judges and the judiciary. After at least three lawyers wrote to the attorney general, Venugopal decided to grant his consent to initiate contempt proceedings.
Reacting to the development, Kamra said his tweets represented his view that the Supreme Court was “giving a partial decision in favour of a Prime Time Loudspeaker”. He said that the Supreme Court has maintained a silence on the matters of personal liberty in other cases, adding that such conduct cannot go uncriticised.
No lawyers, No apology, No fine, No waste of space 🙏🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/B1U7dkVB1W
— Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) November 13, 2020
He suggested to the court that the time allotted to his contempt petition hearing should be allotted to other matters such as petitions against demonetisation and the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Doubling down on his criticism, the comedian added, “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 (sic).”
Kunal Kamra’s full statement is reproduced below.
Dear Judges, Mr KK Venugopal, the tweets I recently put out have been found in contempt Of court. All that I tweeted was from my view of the Supreme Court Of India giving a partial decision in favour of a Prime Time Loudspeaker. I believe I must confess I very much love holding court and enjoying a platform with a captive audience. 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.
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. I wish to volunteer having the time that would be allotted to the hearing of my contempt petition (20 hours at the very least, if Prashant Bhushan’s hearing is anything to go by), to other matters and parties 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. 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. 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.