A day after Twitter apologised for its map faux pas showing Ladakh as part of China, the micro-blogging site has found itself in unprecedented circumstances over stand up comedian Kunal Kamra's "offensive tweets" about the Chief Justice of India earlier this month. According to various media reports, a joint committee of Parliament for Data Protection Bill headed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi has asked Twitter why it has not taken action against Kamra's tweets.
The panel reportedly told Twitter that degrading India's institutions was "simply unacceptable."
"On Kunal's tweet, Twitter said that the post cannot be removed unless the court issues such orders," ANI reported quoting Lekhi. "We've asked for an answer in seven days. Since there are no laws in India regarding these, we have to talk to the top executives of such service providers," the BJP MP added.
Meanwhile, reacting to the panel's questioning of Twitter, Kamra tweeted: "Personal liberty is like promotions in corporate India; only those who don't have jokes on the boss get it..."
On November 12, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal had granted consent for initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against Kamra, saying his tweets against CJI Bobde were in “bad taste” and it is time that people understand that attacking the apex court brazenly will attract punishment under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1972.
A day later, a petition was on Friday filed in the Supreme Court seeking initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against Kamra's “scandalous tweets”.
The petition, filed by five petitioners including law student Shrirang Katneshwarkar, has claimed that Kamra had started publishing tweets on November 11 when the top court was hearing the appeal of journalist Arnab Goswami against the Bombay High Court’s order rejecting his plea seeking interim bail in the 2018 abetment to suicide case. It alleged that after the top court granted interim bail to Goswami on November 11, Kamra “again published various tweets and thereby scandalised” the apex court and “further lowered” its authority.