Comedian Kunal Kamra and cartoonist Rachita Taneja have been given contempt notices by the Supreme Court. The apex court has asked them to respond in six weeks for their criticism of the top court in tweets and illustrations. The court has asked them to explain why contempt actions should not be taken against them for 'scandalising the judiciary'.
The court said that there is no need to appear in person at the court. The case was heard by a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan.
Kamra had attacked the Supreme Court for granting bail to TV anchor Arnab Goswami in an abetment to suicide case. Taneja had also made cartoons involving the Supreme Court in the Arnab Goswami bail row.
The petition against Kamra stated that when some people tried to make him aware about contempt of court, he was "rude, arrogant and unapologetic". It said that his conduct showed no regard to the Supreme Court. The plea also said that his tweets were in very bad taste and that any ordinary prudent man can gather that he has scandalised the apex court.
Attorney General KK Venugopal gave consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Taneja for her illustrations against the Supreme Court. Venugopal said that the illustrations were a 'gross insinuation' against the top court of the country and an 'audacious assault and insult to the institution'. The consent of either the Attorney General or the Solicitor General is necessary for initiating contempt proceedings against a person.