Comedian Kunal Kamra, cartoonist Rachita Taneja have been given contempt notices by the Supreme Court, asked to respond in 6 weeks for their their criticism of the top court in tweets and illustrations respectively.
They have been given six weeks to respond in the separate cases. The court, however, has exempted them from personal appearances.
In the notices issued by a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, the top court has asked them to explain why contempt actions should not be taken against them for “scandalising the judiciary”.
Kunal Kamra faces contempt cases over his tweets attacking at top court for granting TV anchor Arnab Goswami bail after his arrest in an abetment to suicide case. Eight people, mostly lawyers, have filed cases against him.
Earlier this month, KK Venugopal, the government’s top law officer, gave consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Ms Taneja for her illustrations on the Supreme Court. The cartoonist had tweeted a series of illustrations, which Mr Venugopal said was “gross insinuation” against the top court of the country and “audacious assault and insult to the institution”.
Rachita Taneja tweeted on the Supreme Court granting bail to Arnab Goswami. There were other illustrations as well where the top court was mentioned. The nod from the Attorney General came in response to an appeal from a law student.
The consent of either the Attorney General or the Solicitor General is necessary for initiating contempt proceedings against a person.
Mr Venugopal had earlier said that Mr Kamra’s tweets were “in bad taste” and “crossed the line between humour and contempt”.