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Contempt of Court, Legal Support and Validity

Why in the News.

The Supreme Court on Friday decided to pursue the court's criminal contempt case for tweets criticizing the apex court against stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra and cartoonist Rachita Taneja.

On November 12, Attorney General KK Venugopal had allowed to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Kamra on the basis of complaints from various law students and lawyers who drew the attention of the law officer towards four tweets.

What is Contempt of court?

Contempt of court, often referred to as "contempt", is a crime of being disrespectful or abusive as a behavior towards a court of law and its officers who oppose or defy the authority, justice and dignity of the court.

Legal Backing

When the constitution was adopted, contempt of court was restricted to freedom of speech and expression. Separately, Article 129 of the Constitution empowered the Supreme Court to punish its own contempt. Article 215 conferred a similar power on the High Courts. The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, gives statutory support to the idea.


When a court decides that an action is contempt of court, it may issue an order that the trial or hearing in the court declare a person or organization to disrespect or insult the authority of the court Does, which is called "found" or "held". "In contempt. The judge has the strongest power to impose sanctions for acts that disrupt the normal process of the court.

The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971

According to the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, contempt of court can be either civil contempt or criminal contempt

Civil Contempt: Under Section 2 (b) of the Contempt Act of 1971, civil contempt is considered as a contemptible disobedience of any decision, decree, instruction, order, writ or other process of a court or violation of any undertaking. Is defined in. For a court.

Criminal Contempt: Under Section 2 (c) of the Contempt Act of 1971, criminal contempt is defined as publication (whether by words, spoken or written, or by signs, or on the scene of any case by representation, or otherwise) or whatever other functions it performs:

· Scandalizes or scandalizes, or reduces or reduces to the right of any court, or

· To prejudice, or interfere with, or to interfere with the due time of any judicial proceeding, or

· Interferes or interferes with, or hinders or hinders, the administration of justice in any other way.

In 2006, the government brought in an amendment, which now provides for "truth" as a form of defense that is publicly and in the public interest.


According to the Act, for the contempt of court a sentence of simple imprisonment may extend to six months, or a fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both, provided that the accused is discharged. Can go or be punished. The amnesty being made to the satisfaction of the court may be reconsidered.

Role of Attorney-General

Subsection 1 of Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 (cognizance of criminal contempt in other cases) reads: "In case of criminal contempt, apart from contempt mentioned in section 14 ("Procedure where contempt is before the Supreme Court or High Court"), the Supreme Court or the High Court may act on its own motion or (a) on the motion given by the Advocate-General, or (b) any other person, with the consent in writing of the Solicitor General... "

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