Not Sorry, Use Time For “Deserving Matters”: Kunal Kamra On Contempt Row

New Delhi: Refusing to retract or apologise for the tweets that attract ‘Contempt of Court’ charges against him, Comedian Kunal Kamra on Friday said he believes they “speak for themselves”.

Mr Kamra’s statement came a day after Attorney General KK Venugopal gave his consent to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against the stand-up comedian for a series of tweets on Supreme Court’s decision on Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami’s bail plea.

“My view hasn’t changed because the silence of the Supreme Court of India on matters of other’s personal liberty cannot go uncriticised. I don’t intend to retract my tweets or apologise for them. I believe they speak for themselves,” Mr Kamra said in a post titled “No lawyers, No apology, No fine, No waste of space”.

Mr Kamra, who was banned by several airlines after he heckled Mr Goswami on a flight earlier this year, suggested that court’s time could be better utilized by hearing more pressing issues like “demonetisation, the petition challenging the revocation of J&K’s special status and the matter of the legality of electoral bonds.”

Further, while referring to the contempt proceedings against lawyer Prashant Bhushan, he asserted to allot court’s time for other matters “that are more deserving of time and attention”.

“I wish to volunteer having the time that would be allotted 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,” Mr Kamra wrote.

Mr Bhushan had refused to apologise for his derogatory tweets and was held guilty of contempt earlier this year.

The top court on Wednesday granted interim bail to Mr Goswami in an abetment to suicide case, saying it will be a “travesty of justice” if personal liberty is curtailed.

Terming Mr Kamra’s tweets in “bad taste”, Mr Venugopal on Thursday said it was time for people to understand that attacking the top court brazenly will attract punishment.

“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 top law officer said in a letter to one of the applicants who had sought his consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Mr Kamra.

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.

The Supreme Court hasn’t yet taken up the requests to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Kunal Kamra.

(with inputs from agencies)

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