Standup Comedian Kunal Kamra, facing contempt charges, on Friday said that he would not retract his tweets criticising the Supreme Court or apologise.
He has attacked the top court for granting right wing journalist and Republic TV Chief Editor Arnab Goswami reprieve after his arrest in an abetment to suicide case.
“No lawyers, no apology, no fine, no waste of space,” Kamra said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Attorney General KK Venugopal, allowing eight people to file criminal contempt cases against Kamra, said in a letter that he had crossed a line.
“It is time that people understand attacking the Supreme Court unjustifiably and brazenly will lead to punishment,” Mr Venugopal said in a letter replying to a lawyer who had asked his sanction to take Mr Kamra to court.
Here is Kamra’s full statement:
Dear Judges, KK Venugopal
The tweets I recently put out have been found in contempt of court. 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. An audience of Supreme Court judges and the nation’s top most law officer is perhaps as VIP an audience as it gets. But I realise that more than any entertainment venue I would perform in, a time slot before the Supreme Court is a scarce commodity.
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. 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. May I suggest the demonetisation petition, the petition challenging the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the matter Of the legality of electoral bonds or countless other matters that are more deserving of time and attention. To slightly misquote Senior Advocate Harish Salve: ‘Will the heavens fall if more salient matters are allotted my time?’
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. Also in one of my tweets I had asked for replacement of the photo of Mahatma Gandhi at the Supreme Court of India with that of Harish Salve. I would like to add that Pandit Nehru photo should also be replaced with Mahesh Jethmalani.”