Comedian Kunal Kamra on Friday offered no apology for his tweets criticising the Supreme Court, while responding to the contempt notice issued to him in December, Live Law reported. Kamra told the court that “jokes need no defence”.
“Jokes are not reality; they are a comedian’s perception,” Kamra said. “Truth about the attention economy is that the more attention one gives to criticism or ridicule, the more credible it appears to be.”
The comedian added: “I do not believe that any high authority, including judges, would find themselves unable to discharge their duties only on account of being the subject of satire or comedy.”
Kamra said he believed that there was a growing culture of intolerance in the country. “Taking offence is seen as a fundamental right which has been elevated to the status of a much loved national sport,” the comedian added.
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Kamra noted that public faith in judiciary was founded on the institution’s own actions and not its criticism, according to Bar and Bench. “The suggestion that my tweets can shake the foundations of the most powerful Court of the world is an overestimation of my abilities,” he said. “Just as the Supreme Court values the faith public places in it, it should also trust the public not to form its opinions of the Court on the basis of a few jokes on Twitter.”
The case against Kamra relates to a series of tweets he put out criticising the Supreme Court for the manner in which it had fast-tracked Republic TV owner Arnab Goswami’s bail plea in an abetment to suicide case, even as thousands of undertrials languishing in jails across the country find it difficult to get a hearing. On December 18, the Supreme Court asked him to respond to the contempt notice within six weeks.
The court had also issued a notice to cartoonist Rachita Taneja, who is the creator of webcomic “Sanitary Panels”. She had also tweeted about Arnab Goswami’s bail.