Supreme Court Orders Warrant Against Calcutta High Court Judge CS Karnan
Kolkata, March 10: The Supreme Court on Friday issued a bailable warrant against Calcutta High Court judge C S Karnan, an unprecedented order in a bitter confrontation between the judge and the top court.
A seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar issued the bailable warrant with a personal bail bond of Rs. 10,000 against Justice Karnan, who allegedly made slanderous remarks against judges of the Madras High Court.
The Bench issued the order directing Justice Karnan’s presence on March 31. Justice Karnan had to appear on Friday to respond to contempt proceedings initiated against him.
The Supreme court’s decision came after Justice Karnan refused to appear before it to face contempt charges.
The Supreme Court also directed the Director General of Police (DGP) of West Bengal to serve the warrant on Justice Karnan personally at his residence.
Justice Karnan had, however, sent a letter to the Chief Justice of India asking him to restore his judicial and administrative powers, the apex court also refused the request of Justice Karnan for a personal hearing.
On February 13, 2017, Justice Karnan had skipped his appearance in the Supreme Court, following which his deadline to personally appear before the apex court was extended by 3 weeks.
“We will give him one more opportunity. We want to hear him before framing charges,” the bench had said on February 13 after attorney general Mukul Rohatgi suggested the court go ahead with the proceedings in his absence.
The Supreme court had earlier granted three weeks to Justice Karnan to appear before the court and to reply to a show cause notice issued by it.
At its previous hearing, the Supreme Court had directed the justice to appear before the court in person in connectioSuoith Suo moto contempt proceedings. But neither he nor his lawyer presented themselves before it on the date of the hearing.
In an unprecedented move, the Supreme court had invoked its powers to initiate contempt proceedings against Justice Karnan, for writing letters casting aspersions on several judges.
Justice Karnan has been accused of circulation of disparaging letters against sitting high court judges of the Madras High Court, and he has also allegedly written about Supreme Court judges in his letters to the Prime Minister’s Office.
In his earlier letter, justice Karnan has said the contempt action against him “is erroneous and has been willfully and wantonly passed with malafide intention”. Therefore these proceedings may be referred to Parliament, where, he said, he would establish the high rate of corruption prevailing in the judiciary in the Madras High Court.
(With ANI Inputs)