This Article is From Nov 19, 2020

Parliament Panel Grills Twitter Over Comic Kunal Kamra's Tweets: Sources

The social media giant's policy head Mahima Kaul was grilled by the parliamentary panel headed by the BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi, sources said.

Kunal Kamra faces contempt cases over his tweets attacking the Supreme Court. (File)

New Delhi:

Twitter was reportedly questioned today by a parliamentary panel for not removing stand-up comic Kunal Kamra's "offensive tweets" targeting the Supreme Court earlier this month.

The social media giant's policy head Mahima Kaul was grilled by the Joint Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill headed by the BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi, sources said.  

Both Ms Lekhi and Congress leader Vivek Tankha took the lead in questioning Twitter for keeping the posts, said the sources.

Twitter is already in trouble for geo-tagging Ladakh as a part of China and has promised the panel that it will be corrected by November 30. Twitter's chief privacy officer Damien Kieran sent an apology letter to the panel over the lapse, which was revealed after users tagged their posts as being in Ladakh but the geo-tag showed their location in China.

Kunal Kamra faces contempt cases over his tweets attacking the Supreme Court for granting TV anchor Arnab Goswami reprieve after his arrest in an abetment to suicide case. Eight people, mostly lawyers, have filed cases against him.

The Mumbai-based comic has refused to either retract his tweets or apologise for his posts.  "I don't intend to retract my tweets or apologise for them. I believe they speak for themselves... No lawyers, no apology, no fine, no waste of space," he wrote in tweets.

Mr Kamra filled his timeline with angry and caustic posts against the Supreme Court for granting interim bail to Arnab Goswami a week after his arrest over the suicide of an architect, Anvay Naik, and his mother in 2018. Judges DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee pulled up the Maharashtra government over the Republic TV anchor's arrest and said: "If we as a constitutional court do not lay down law and protect liberty, then who will?"

Attorney General KK Venugopal, allowing criminal contempt cases against Mr Kamra, said in a letter that he had crossed the line. "It is time that people understand attacking the Supreme Court unjustifiably and brazenly will lead to punishment," the top law officer had said in a letter.

The comedian's row with Arnab Goswami started after he was banned by several airlines for heckling the anchor on an IndiGo flight from Mumbai to Lucknow. After he posted a video of the encounter, in which he was seen bombarding the Republic editor with questions and getting no response.