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Comedian Kunal Kamra.
Comedian Kunal Kamra.

Contempt row: Kunal Kamra says 'Don't intend to retract my tweets or apologise'

  • The Mumbai-based comedian hoped the top court would 'have a small laugh' before declaring him in contempt

Stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra on Friday said that he will not retract his tweets, criticising the Supreme Court, or apologise for the same a day after the Attorney General of India granted his consent to initiate criminal contempt of court proceedings against the Mumbai-based comic.

“I don’t intend to retract my tweets or apologise for them. I believe they speak for themselves," wrote Kunal Kamra on Twitter.

The Mumbai-based comedian hoped the top court would “have a small laugh" before declaring him in contempt.

'Hope they can have a small laugh'

“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," Kamra said in a statement addressed to the judges of the apex court and the A-G.

“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," tweeted Kamra.

“My view hasn’t changed because the silence of the Supreme Court of India on matters of other's personal liberty cannot go uncriticized," he said.

“I wish to volunteer having the time that would be alloted 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," he added.

What did Kunal Kamra tweet

In a series of tweets on 11 November, the comic had attacked the SC for granting journalist Arnab Goswami bail after his arrest in an abetment to suicide case.

His tweets, which were referred by AG Venugopala, are:

“Honour has left the building (Supreme Court) long back"

“The Supreme Court of this Country is the most Supreme joke of this country."

In another tweet, Kamra shared an image of the Supreme Court building dressed in saffron colours with the BJP flag on top instead of the national flag.

AG Venugopal okays contempt proceedings against Kamra

Venugopal granted consent for initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against the stand-up comic artist for his tweets, which allegedly criticised the apex court, saying the tweets are in “bad taste" and it is time that people understand that attacking the SC brazenly will attract punishment.

Venugopal said today people believe that they can “boldly and brazenly condemn" the Supreme Court of India and its judges by exercising their freedom of speech, but under the Constitution, the freedom of speech is subject to the law of contempt.

“I have gone through each one of the tweets which you have annexed for consent to proceed by way of criminal contempt against Kunal Kamra. The tweets which I am extracting below are not only in bad taste but clearly cross the line between humour and contempt of the court," the Attorney General said in his letter to one of the applicants who had sought consent of the top law officer for initiation of contempt proceedings against Kamra.

“I therefore grant consent to proceed by way of initiating contempt proceedings against Kunal Kamra," Venugopal said.

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