‘No defence for jokes’ — Kunal Kamra offers no apology to SC in reply to contempt notice
'Should powerful people and institutions show an inability to tolerate rebuke or criticism, we would be reduced to a country of incarcerated artists and flourishing lapdogs'... About his tweets against the apex court, Kamra felt the suggestion that they could shake the foundations of the most powerful court in the world is an “over-estimation of his abilities”.... Such a suggestion by the petitioners, he said, reveals how little faith they appear to have in the people of this country. Public faith, he said, is founded on the institution’s own actions, and not any criticism or commentary.
Stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra Friday offered no defence for his jokes to the Supreme Court, saying they were based on a comedian’s perception, and used to make the audience that shared that perception laugh. “There’s no defence for jokes… These jokes are not reality and don’t claim to be so. Most people do not reach to jokes that don’t make them laugh; they ignore them like our political leaders ignore their critics,” read Kamra’s affidavit filed in response to a contempt notice issued to him by the top court.
A bench led by Ashok Bhushan had on 18 December issued contempt notices to Kamra on a batch of petitions filed against him over his tweets attacking the top court for granting bail to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami after his arrest in an abetment to suicide case. The bench took up the matter Friday, but adjourned it by two weeks for the petitioners to file their response to Kamra’s affidavit.
Eight people, mostly lawyers, have filed the cases after permission was granted to them by Attorney General K.K. Venugopal. Kamra “believes that constitutional offices, including judicial offices, know no protection from jokes,” and “should powerful people and institutions show an inability to tolerate rebuke or criticism, we would be reduced to a country of incarcerated artists and flourishing lapdogs”.
His affidavit goes on to refer to comedian Munawar Faruqui’s case to highlight the “growing culture of intolerance in this country,” where, according to Kamra, taking offence is seen as a fundamental right and has been elevated to the status of much-loved indoor sport”….