The Attorney General KK Venugopal has granted consent to a law student to initiate contempt proceedings against comic artist Rachita Taneja for Tweets saying they are an “audacious assault and insult to the institution.” According to reports, while granting the consent, the AG stated that the Tweets by Sanitary Panels has a clear implication that Supreme Court is biased towards the ruling political party BJP, which is somehow interested in protecting Republic TV Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.
BREAKING: AG KK Venugopal grants consent to a law student to initiate contempt proceedings against comic artist Rachita Taneja for tweets which were an “audacious assault and insult to the institution.”@sanitarypanels #SupremeCourt #contemptofcourt @republic #ArnabGoswami pic.twitter.com/crsFTyleKG— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) December 1, 2020
A law student had approached the Attorney General urging him to grant the necessary permission to initiate a contempt proceeding against comic artist Rachita Taneja, the founder of webcomic Sanitary Panels, following her two Tweets dated November 11 and 12. Through her stick cartoons, the comic artist had insinuated a quid pro quo relationship between the Apex Court and the Central government, alleging that on the govt’s direction, the court granted interim relief to Republic TV Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.
insinuating that the Supreme Court is biased towards BJP and RSS and because of this prejudice, the cartoons had claimed that the court had absolved Arnab Goswami of the abetment to suicide charge. She had Tweeted those cartoons after the Supreme Court had granted interim bail to journalist Arnab Goswami.
In his letter seeking permission to initiate contempt proceedings against the cartoonist, law student Aditya Kashyap had attached an excerpt of another tweet dated August 7 this year, which stated: “Let’s not forget how we got here.” The caption is accompanied by a caricature that depicts a similar relationship between the judiciary, especially retd. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and the Central government in delivering the Ayodhya Judgment.
Referring to a Tweet posted by the founder of webcomic Sanitary Panels on November 11, where in the comic artist referred Supreme Court of India as a ‘Sanghi Court of India’, in an apparent reference to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) with a caption: “Arnab gets bail, real journalists get jail, independent judiciary is fail”, the AG observed that the Tweet carries a gross insinuation against India’s Apex court to the effect that the Supreme Court of India has ceased to be an impartial organ of the state. The Tweet is clearly calculated to undermine the public confidence in the independence and the impartiality of the Supreme Court of India.
Speaking about the Tweet dated November 12, the AG said that through her cartoon, Taneja has implied that BJP is somehow interested in protecting Arnab Goswami and has prevailed upon the Supreme Court to do so. It said that, therefore, the clear implication would be that the Supreme Court of India is biased towards the ruling BJP, and would tailor its judgement for the benefit of the ruling party.
The AG was referring to Rachita Taneja’s Tweet where she depicted Republic TV’s chief Arnab Goswami with the Supreme Court of India and the Bharatiya Janata Party on his either sides and Arnab saying: “Tu jaanta nahin mera baap kaun hain”, which translates to: “you do not know who my father is”. By this cartoon, the cartoonist had insinuated that both the BJP and the Supreme Court were biased towards Arnab Goswami.
Slamming the cartoon artist for her tweets which were an “audacious assault and insult to the institution”, the Attorney General gave a go-ahead to contempt proceeding against Rachita Taneja.
Sanitary Panels founder Rachita Taneja’s past hateful Tweets
Webcomic Sanitary Panels founder Rachita Taneja is known for her controversial, hateful and often Hinduphobic Tweets. Through her cartoons, Rachita Taneja has regularly indulged in mocking and berating the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and people associated with it. In April, soon after the demise of actor Irrfan Khan, the cartoonist had posted a deplorable Tweet wherein she wished death on Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar while mourning actor Irrfan Khan’s demise. This animosity against Akshay Kumar was evidently because the superstar has been a vocal supporter of PM Narendra Modi and has never shied away from expressing his admiration for the latter.
Taneja’s tweet had drawen a lot of criticism online which impelled her to temporarily deactivate her Twitter account.
These are, however, only few examples of her hateful Tweets. Following the Supreme Court verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi case where the apex court decided in favour of constructing the Ram Mandir, Taneja had taken to Twitter to abuse the temple. Taneja’s comics which many times reek of Hinduphobia has been commissioned and published by various international publications like Forbes India.
Supreme Court observed that Maha police had failed to establish charges against Republic TV chief in the suicide case
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had recently detailed the reasons for providing interim bail to Arnab Goswami on November 11 in the 2018 Anvay Naik suicide case. It had said that prima facie evaluation of FIR lodged by Maharashtra police does not establish the abetment of suicide charge against him in the 2018 Anvay Naik suicide case. The Supreme Court said that as Maharashtra police had failed to establish charges against Republic TV chief in the suicide case, it was necessary to grant bail to Arnab Goswami. The court had torn into the authorities saying that the criminal law should not become a tool for selective harassment of citizens.