SC issues just cause notices to Kunal Kamra and Rachita Taneja
On Friday, the Supreme Court issued notices of apparent cause for comedian Kunal Kamra and cartoonist Rachita Taneja, in separate petitions seeking the initiation of contempt of court proceedings against them for allegedly denigrating the judiciary and judges.
The controversy erupted on November 11, when Kamra posted a series of tweets “mocking” the high court, Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde, and Justice DY Chandrachud, after which law student Skand Bajpai wrote to Attorney General KK Venugopal, requesting his consent for contempt proceedings to be initiated against Kamra.
On November 12, Bajpai tweeted that the attorney general had consented to commencement of contempt proceedings against the comedian and posted a letter from Venugopal saying the same thing.
Kamra declined to apologize for their tweets, saying that they only expressed their opinion on the “partial” decision of the Supreme Court of India. He was referring to the posting of bail to Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami in a case of incitement to suicide in 2018.
“The tweets I posted recently have been found in contempt of court. Everything I tweeted was from my point of view that the Supreme Court of India gave a partial decision in favor of a high-ranking speaker. “
“My point of view has not changed because the silence of the Supreme Court of India on issues of the personal freedom of others cannot be without criticism. I do not intend to retract my tweets or apologize for them. I think they speak for themselves, “he added.
The attorney general also gave his consent to the contempt of cartoonist Rachita Taneja for her tweets showing the supreme court as biased towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after Gowswami was released on bail.
The first tweet shows Goswami asking the SC if he knows who his father is. “The clear implication (of the tweet) would be that SC is biased towards the ruling BJP party and would tailor its judgments to the benefit of the ruling party,” Venugopal had said in his examination of the tweets.
The second tweet featured the SC as “Sanghi Court of India”, an apparent reference to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) with the BJP flag instead of the tricolor atop the court building. “The tweet is calculated to undermine public confidence in the independence and impartiality of the Supreme Court of India,” Venugopal said.
The cartoonist’s third tweet made a reference to Ayodha’s title lawsuit ruling handed down by the high court in November last year with the hint that this was handed over in favor of BJP in exchange for a favor.