Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Thursday recused himself from hearing petitions seeking contempt of court action against stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra over some of his tweets, reported Bar and Bench.

The Supreme Court is hearing four pleas against Kamra over his comments about the top court and its judges. One of the petition pertains to Kamra’s comments criticising the Supreme Court and Chandrachud for granting bail Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in November 2020

Kamra had criticised the Supreme Court for fast-tracking Goswami’s bail plea in an abetment to suicide case, saying that thousands of undertrials languishing in jails across the country find it difficult to get a hearing.

At Thursday’s hearing, Kamra’s counsel said that he had no problem if Chandrachud heard the case. However, the chief justice of India refused to hear the matter, saying that Kamra’s comments were made on the order which he had passed.

In November 2021, Attorney General KK Venugopal had given his consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Kamra. Under Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, a person can file a contempt of court petition in the Supreme Court only after receiving the consent of the Attorney General or the Solicitor General.

Kamra has argued that he did not post the tweets with the intention of “diminishing people’s faith in the highest court” of the country’s democracy. He also added that “public’s faith in the judiciary is founded on the institution’s own actions and not on any criticism or commentary about it”.