Contempt case on artist: SC says criticism is growing

Contempt case against comic artist: SC says criticism growing, everybody doing it now

On December 18, the top court had issued show-cause notices to Kunal Kamra and Rachit Taneja for their alleged scandalous tweets against the apex court

Credit: Reuters Photo

The Supreme Court on Friday said the criticism of the top court has been a growing phenomenon and everybody is doing it now.

A bench presided over by Justice Ashok Bhushan made the observation while hearing contempt cases against comedian Kunal Kamra and cartoonist Rachita Taneja for their tweets and cartoons making undignified and derogatory remarks about the top court.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Taneja, asked why the court had to take cognizance of this matter.

"Foundation of the court is much stronger. Criticism of court can never be contempt. She is a young 25-year-old girl. There is a public perception why a journalist (Arnab Goswami) case was taken up during vacations," Rohatgi said. To this, the bench replied that the court agreed with his submission, but this was growing and everyone was doing it now.

Read | Comedian Kunal Kamra defends his tweets in SC, says irreverence essential tool

The bench asked Rohatgi to file a reply in the matter. Rohatgi asked the court to take up his client's case separately and not with Kamra's case. 

After a brief hearing in the matter, the court adjourned Taneja's plea for three weeks. 

Following the top court's order granting bail to Goswami in November 2020, Taneja through a Twitter handle @sanitarypanels posted a number of tweets including one in which she described the Supreme Court in an apparently derogatory manner.

She had posted a tweet in August was regarding the nomination of former CJI Ranjan Gogoi to Rajya Sabha and another about the Ayodhya case judgement by a five-judge bench in November 2019.

A law student, Aditya Kashyap took a nod from the Attorney General on December 1 before filing his contempt petition against Taneja. The court had on December 18, 2020, issued a contempt notice to her.