The Supreme Court on Friday decided to proceed with the criminal contempt of court cases against stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra and cartoonist Rachita Taneja for posting scandalous tweets and cartoons against the top court.
Earlier, the Attorney general K.K. Venugopal had already given consent for filing of contempt pleas against Kamra and Taneja.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justices R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah issued notice to both Kamra and Taneja.
However, the top court dispensed them from personal appearance.
The plea has been filed by law students Shrirang Katneshwarkar, Nitika Duhan, and advocates Amey Abhay Sirsikar, Abhishek Sharan Raskar, and Sattyendra Vinayak Muley.
“The alleged contemnor (Kamra) has the following of 1.7 million people. The scandalous tweets of the alleged contemnor were seen by his followers and many of them retweeted the same,” said the plea.
Citing Section 2 (c) (i) of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, the petitioners argued that this section is explicit and the tweets published by Kamra clearly showed he allegedly committed gross contempt of the apex court.
The plea emphasized that every follower of Kamra on Twitter must have read the tweets and more than one thousand people have retweeted the scandalous tweets.
The petitioners insisted that Kamra was fully aware of his action. “When some persons tried to make the alleged contemnor aware about the contempt of this court, the alleged contemnor was rude, arrogant and unapologetic. The conduct of the alleged contemnor shows that he has no regard for this court,” said the plea.
The plea contended that the AG by reproducing the tweets observed that the tweets are not only in bad taste but clearly cross the line between humour and contempt of the court.
The petitioners said though the Supreme Court has let off contemnors in the past upon tendering apology, but this case is different.
“The conduct of the alleged contemnor is so harsh that the alleged contemnor does not deserve any sympathy at the hands of this court even in case of tendering apology.
“Citizens of this country strongly believe that the people like the alleged contemnor should not be spared at any cost,” said the plea seeking action against Kamra. –ians/ss/in