After a Magistrate order dismissed a criminal complaint against ‘comedian’ Kunal Kamra seeking the filing of an FIR against him for allegedly insulting the Indian flag, a sessions court in Uttar Pradesh has admitted a revision petition challenging the Magistrate order. The criminal complaint dismissed by the Magistrate order alleged that Kamra insulted the national flag by sharing a morphed picture of the Supreme Court replacing the tricolour hoisted atop it with the flag of the Bharatiya Janata Party (B JP).
Revision petition challenges the Magistrate’s order that dismissed criminal complaint against Kamra
According to Live Law, the court of Additional Sessions Judge Anuradha Kushwaha in Varanasi had issued a notice dated February 11, 2021 on the revision petition, fixing the date of hearing on March 2, 2021. Kamra had reportedly tweeted a picture of the Supreme Court painted in saffron colour with the flag of the BJP hoisted atop it. Kamra had also posted some highly derogatory remarks targeting the apex constitutional court of India.
The Magistrate order that is challenged in the revision petition had dismissed the criminal complaint against Kamra saying that offence was not committed in its local jurisdiction. The revision petition has been filed by Advocate Saurabh Tiwari who had approached the Court of Magistrate contending that Kamra’s actions had hurt the sentiments of the people of the country and had caused contempt and disrepute to the national flag.
Petitioner contended lack of jurisdiction cannot be cited when offence committed on social media
Aggrieved by the order of the Magistrate, Advocate Tiwari has now approached the Sessions Court in Varanasi contending that an FIR may be filed in Varanasi as the impugned actions were committed on a social media platform and therefore the offence is committed at all such places where his posts were seen on Twitter. Advocate Tiwari has urged that Kamra should be booked under section 2 of the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1971 and under sections 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.
Contempt proceeding in Supreme Court against Kamra
Kamra is also facing contempt proceedings in the Supreme Court. After Attorney General of India (AG) KK Venugopal granted the permission to initiate contempt proceedings against Kunal Kamra in November last year, the matter was taken up by the Supreme Court for hearing. A Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah had taken up three contempt petitions against Kamra for hearing in December last year. The Supreme Court had, however, issued a notice granting liberty to Kamra not to appear in person. The hearing in one of the contempt cases against Kamra is scheduled on February 22, 2021.