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  India   All India  01 Apr 2017  Supreme Court took away my job, spoiled dignity: Karnan

Supreme Court took away my job, spoiled dignity: Karnan

THE ASIAN AGE. | J VENKATESAN
Published : Apr 1, 2017, 2:02 am IST
Updated : Apr 1, 2017, 3:59 am IST

A defiant Justice Karnan told the court he would not appear before it again even if he was arrested and put in jail.

Calcutta High Court Judge C.S. Karnan (Photo: PTI)
 Calcutta High Court Judge C.S. Karnan (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked Calcutta high court judge C.S. Karnan, who appeared before the court in the contempt case against him, to file a proper reply in four weeks even as he dared the seven-judge bench to arrest and send him to jail. Justice Karnan also sought restoration of his powers as a condition for his re-appearance, but the plea was rejected.

A defiant Justice Karnan told the court he would not appear before it again even if he was arrested and put in jail. A seven-judge bench of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justices Dipak Misra, J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur, Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Kurian Joseph had issued a bailable warrant to secure the presence of Justice Karnan.

This is for the first time in the annals of Indian judiciary that a sitting high court judge has been hauled up for contempt and a bailable warrant issued to answer contempt charges for his allegations of corruption against judges of Madras high curt and apex court.

When the CJI asked Justice Karnan whether he was affirming the allegations he had made in his various letters, he told the court that “I had sent a number of complaints against several other judges. Instead of action being taken against them, action is taken against me. Please restore my judicial work. I am withdrawing the letters sent to the Prime Minister on January 23 against 20 judges.”

Referring to the note submitted by Justice Karnan in the court tendering unconditional apology, Justice Misra asked him whether he was tendering unconditional apology. Justice Karnan said he will apologise if judicial and administrative work is restored to him.  

“We will allow you to think. We want you to be completely relaxed,” the CJI said  

To this Justice Karnan replied: After restoring my work, I can relax. Only then I can relax.”

Taking exception to police serving the bailable warrant, Justice Karnan asked the court “Why was police sent? What did I do? I am not a terrorist or an anti-social element. Your lordship should protect my dignity. It has been spoiled in public. I am also holding a constitutional office.”

The CJI said, “When we issued a notice to you you did not enter presence. That is why bailable warrant was issued.... It is not as if you are a terrorist.”

Despite being a judge you were not complying with a court’s directions.”

Justice Karnan said, “First you restore my work. If contempt proceedings proved against me any punishment is fine”

THe CJI said, “We will proceed only after we get a written response from you by way of an affidavit.”

Justice Karnan said “If my work is not restored I cannot file a reply. I am very mentally disturbed.”

CJI said “If you feel that you are mentally not in a position to reply give a medical certificate. Then we will consider.”

Justice  Karnan said “I want punishment. Send me to jail. Please record this. I will not appear before you on the next date of hearing. Arrest me. Put me in jail.”

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, however said that Justice Karnan was perfectly aware of what he was saying and doing. His response will show that he was aware of what he is doing.

Later Justice Karnan told the media on the apex court lawns, “I am going to pass an order against the seven-judges. I will ask the Secretary General to withdraw work to the CJI.

Justice C.S. Karnan, did not appear in the apex court on February 13 as directed by a seven-judge bench on February 8. He was given a second opportunity to appear on March 10. As he did not appear a bailable warrant was issued. The Bench directed the matter for further hearing on May 1, when he was asked to be present in the court along with his lawyer.

Tags: supreme court, j.s. khehar, c.s. karnan, calcutta high court
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi