Justice CS Karnan seeking compensation of Rs 14 Cr from Chief Justice and others
New Delhi, March 17: Justice CS Karnan, the Calcutta High Court judge, has written a letter to Chief Justice of India (CJI) Jagdish Singh Khehar and other judges of the Constitution Bench, seeking compensation of Rs 14 crore for ‘disturbing his mind and insulting him in public’.
The Supreme Court of India on last week issued a bailable warrant against Justice CS Karnan for refusing to heed summons to appear, and the judge hit back by ordering the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe all the 7 Supreme Court judges in the Constitution Bench.
A 7-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice Of India took strong note of Justice CS Karnan’s non-appearance despite being served with the contempt notice and asked the West Bengal Police DG to execute the warrants againstKarnan to ensure his presence at 10.30 am on March 31.
The 7-Judge Bench during a 15-minute-long hearing that took place in the packed Chief Justice’s courtroom referred to Justice CS Karnan’s fax message sent to the Supreme Court registry on March 8 seeking a meeting with the Chief Justice Of India to discuss “certain administrative issues”.
It said the message “primarily seem to reflect the allegations leveled by him against certain named judges. The above fax message, dated March 8, cannot be considered as a response of Justice Karnan, either to the contempt petition or to the notice served upon him.”
On the beginning, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that Justice CS Karnan had defied the apex court order and the Supreme Court rules on contempt provide for the issuance of bailable and non-bailable warrants against a contemnor to ensure his presence.
“The letter can’t be considered as a reply to contempt petition. In view of the above, there is no other possible ways, but to ensure Justice Karnan’s presence in the court by issuing a bailable warrant.”
Besides Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, other judges on the bench are Justice Dipak Misra, Justice J Chelameswar, Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B Lokur, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Kurian Joseph.
In another step initiated by Justice CS Karnan, he held a press conference – conveyed at a short notice – railing against the SC order, calling it an “attempt to ruin” his life as a Dalit judge, and directed that a case is filed under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) Act.
Earlier, the Supreme Court bench had issued contempt notice to Justice CS Karnan for writing letters casting aspersions on several judges.
It had also said Justice CS Karnan would not discharge any judicial and administrative functions during the pendency of the proceedings.
It is for the first time in the history of Supreme Court that it has invoked powers to initiate contempt proceedings against a sitting judge of a High Court.
Justice CS Karnan had in January named 20 “corrupt judges”, seeking probe against them to curb “high corruption” in the Indian judiciary.