On February 8, Chief Justice of India JS Khehar had initiated a suo moto contempt of court proceeding against CS Karnan.

Judge CS Karnan defies SC by refusing to appear given time till March 10
news Court Monday, February 13, 2017 - 12:26

The seven-judge Supreme Court bench hearing the contempt case against Calcutta HC judge CS Karnan has given him further time till March 10 by deferring the hearing, after he defied the SC’s orders by refusing to appear before the court on Monday.

A seven-judge constitution bench directed the next hearing on March 10, noting that "we are not aware of the reasons for non-appearance" of Karnan, said: "We refrain from proceeding in the matter as of now."

Following Chief Justice of India JS Khehar filing a contempt of court case against Karnan earlier, the SC was hearing the case on Monday, but Judge CS Karnan was not present during the hearing.

The order came even as Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that under the Supreme Court Rules, it was mandatory for Karnan to appear.

Rohatgi who is assisting the court in the matter urged the bench to frame a charge and asked Karnan to respond to them on the next date of hearing.

"Frame a charge today (Monday). Record that you (Justice Karnan) have not appeared and showcause him on the charge," Rohatgi told the bench.

In the court on Monday, the Attorney General presented the latest letter written by CS Karnan to the Supreme Court registrar, in which he said that the courts have “no power to enforce punishment against a sitting Judge of the High Court,” according to reports.

Representing the Madras High Court, senior Advocate KK Venugopal asked the SC to provide protection to the judges from the ‘verbal abuse’ by Justice Karnan.

On February 8, Chief Justice of India JS Khehar had initiated a suo moto contempt of court proceeding against CS Karnan. “Shri Justice C.S Karnan shall forthwith refrain from handling any judicial or administrative work, as may have been assigned to him, in furtherance of the office held by him. He is also directed to return all judicial and administrative files in his possession, to the Registrar General of the High Court immediately,” he stated in the order.

In 2015, CS Karnan had threatened contempt of court proceedings against Chief Justice of Madras HC Sanjay K Kaul, who has been now appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court. Karnan had alleged that Kaul was interfering in his judicial work and had also asked for a CBI investigation into the educational qualification of another judge, according to TOI.

He had also claimed that he was a victim of caste bias as he was a Dalit and had accused the Madras High Court chief justice of harassing him. When he was transferred, he had asked the Chief Justice of India not to interfere in his “jurisdiction” and later accepted the transfer.


(With IANS inputs)

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