Kunal Kamra has filed a counter affidavit before the Supreme Court in response to the ongoing contempt proceedings, stating that his tweets were not intended to insult the court but instead aimed to put the spotlight on issues that he believes are important to Indian democracy. In an affidavit that’s chock full of references to other instances of censorship and assaults on freedom of speech (e.g Munawar Faruqui), Kamra also said that the public’s faith in the judiciary is founded on its own actions, and not on any criticism or commentary about it.
“I believe that constitutional offices, including judicial offices—know no protection from jokes,” states the affidavit. “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 and comedy.”
Kamra also used the opportunity to highlight the government’s attempts at restricting free speech in Kashmir and elsewhere. “If this Court believes I have crossed a line and wants to shut down my internet indefinitely, then I too will write Happy Independence Day post cards every 15 August like my Kashmiri friends.”
The contempt proceedings against Kamra stem from four tweets he made in the wake of the Supreme Court granting bail to Arnab Goswami. Cartoonist Rachita Taneja is also facing contempt of court proceedings in a related case.
UPDATE: The Supreme Court has adjourned the criminal contempt case against Kunal Kamra for two weeks to allow the petitioner to respond to Kunal Kamra’s counter-affidavit. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan allowed the adjournment request from the petitioner, who had received the counter-affidavit only this morning and sought time to reply.