Image source: thetribune.com
The Attorney General for India, KK Venugopal gave his consent for initiation of contempt proceedings against comedian Kunal Kamra, over his tweets about the Supreme Court in the wake of its order granting interim bail to Arnab Goswami. The Attorney General in his consent letter stated that the tweets are “highly objectionable” and maintained that they were "not only in bad taste but clearly cross the line between humor and contempt of the court."
The Attorney General granted his consent under Section 15(1)(b) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 to initiate criminal contempt. He said, “"I find that today people believe that they can boldly and brazenly condemn the Supreme Court of India and its judges by exercising what they believe is their freedom of speech. But under the Constitution, the freedom of speech is subject to the law of contempt and I believe that it is time that people understand that attacking the Supreme Court of India unjustifiedly and brazenly will attract punishment under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1972.”
The background is that Kamra had made a series of tweets regarding the Supreme Court and initiation of contempt against him has been sought for 4 of his tweets posted in the 4 of his tweets posted in the wake of the Supreme Court granting interim bail to Arnab Goswami.The Attorney General received a total 10 letters seeking permission to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Kamra of which he granted consent for 8 including to law student Skand Bajpai and advocates Shrirang Katneshwarkar and Abhishek Raskar.
The AG stated that freedom of speech was subject to contempt of court and it was high time people realized not to criticize the institution "unjustifiedly and brazenly."