After a request made by a law student, Aditya Kashyap, the Attorney General of India granted consent to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Stand-up comedian/comic illustrator Rachita Taneja for her tweets on the bail granted to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.
Out of the two tweets for which contempt proceedings were demanded, A.K. Venugopal said that the first was “gross insinuation of the Apex Court of this country” and on the second one he said, “The tweet is clearly calculated to undermine the public confidence in the independence and impartiality of the Supreme Court of India” The letter written by Kashyap which was seeking to initiate the contempt proceedings cited Taneja’s tweets and pointed that the tweets and posts made by her scandalize the hon’ble supreme court by insinuating and attributing motives judgments by courts. The gap between humor and contempt was clearly filled and violated. Such posts and tweets erode the trust in the institution by casting speck on the justice delivery mechanism. Moreover, such tweets also interrupt the decorum and interfere with the administration of justice. Those tweets and posts were based on distorted facts inspired by malice and amount to committing ‘criminal contempt’.
Earlier, similar proceedings were made against Kunal Kamra after the Attorney General allowed contempt proceedings against him. This request was made by Allahabad-based Advocate Anuj Singh. Kamra faced the proceedings over his tweet against the chief justice of India SA Bobde on November 18, 2020 While granting consent under Section 15 of the Contempt to Court Act, 1971, the AG stated that the tweet was “grossly vulgar and obnoxious” He further stated, “I have no doubt that it would tend to lower the authority of the Supreme Court of India as well as undermine the confidence that the litigant public have in the institute of the Supreme Court itself.” The Consent for initiation of criminal contempt court proceeding was granted by AG on November 12, 2020. This was due to Kamra’s tweets over CJI Bobde and Hon’ble supreme court made posted due to the bail granted to Arnab Goswami. This response came after many letters written by students precisely Shrirang Katneshwarkar, an Aurangabad law student; and many advocates precisely Rizwan Siddiquee, an advocate; and Pune-based lawyers Amey Abhay Sirsikar and Abhishek Sharad Raskar.