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India: Court Ruling: “No Contempt of Court in Satire”

Monday 21 December 2020, by siawi3

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlWO8ZKBYHo

No Contempt of Court in Satire, AG Wrong to Target Kunal Kamra, Rachita Taneja—Fmr AG Mukul Rohatgi

Video here 26:43

The Wire

21 déc. 2020

In a rare instance of a predecessor criticising his successor, the former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi has said that the present Attorney General, K. K. Venugopal, made a mistake when he granted permission for comedian Kunal Kamra to be prosecuted for contempt for his tweets and a second mistake when he subsequently granted permission for the cartoonist Rachita Taneja to be tried for contempt for her cartoons. “The Attorney General should not have granted permission”, he said. “People are entitled to speak their mind”, Mr. Rohatgi added. In fact, he pointed out: “By taking notice of these matters you are giving importance to something that doesn’t deserve it.”

Speaking about Kamra’s tweets he said: “I have seen the tweets and I have been Attorney General as well. The tweets of Mr. Kamra may be in bad taste but they are not contempt. It’s too small an issue to take note of. People are entitled to speak their mind.”

When the Attorney General’s justification for granting permission for Kunal Kamra to be prosecuted was quoted to him – “this is gross insinuation against the entirety of the Supreme Court of India, that … (it) is not an independent and impartial institution … but on the other hand is a court of the ruling party, the BJP, existing only for the BJP’s benefit” – Mr. Rohatgi said: “I don’t think it (the tweets) is contempt. May be outspoken or even wrong. But we should shrug our shoulders and move away. These things happen but move on.”

Mr. Rohatgi told The Wire that it’s commonplace for people to say that politicians are corrupt or bureaucrats are corrupt. He suggested that if something similar is said of the court “the shoulders of the court are broad enough” to take it