Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 18
The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra and comic artist Rachita Taneja on separate petitions seeking initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against them for scandalising the judiciary.
A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan asked them to respond to the petitions in six weeks and explain why criminal contempt proceedings shouldn’t be initiated against them.
The petitions against Kamra and Taneja were filed after attorney General KK Venugopal gave his consent to initiate criminal contempt of court proceedings against both the comic artists.
They had allegedly insinuated the Supreme Court after it gave bail to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in an abetment to suicide case.
Terming Kamra’s tweets as “highly objectionable”, Venugopal had said in his opinion it “constitutes criminal contempt of court.”
The tweets were not only in bad taste but clearly crossed the line between humour and contempt of court, the Attorney General had noted.
In one of his tweets, Kamra showed the Supreme Court in saffron colour with a BJP flag in place of the Tricolour. He tweeted that honour had left the building (Supreme Court) long back and it was “the most supreme joke of the country”. He also made nasty comments about a sitting Supreme Court judge.
Taneja had circulated a caricature that allegedly depicted a quid pro quo relationship between the judiciary and the government with regard to the Ayodhya verdict. She had also allegedly insinuated the top court for giving bail to TV journalist Arnab Goswami.
The consent of either the Attorney General or the Solicitor General is necessary, under section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, for initiating contempt proceedings against a person in the Supreme Court.