"I cannot be mentally fit unless I’m allowed to carry out my judicial duties.”

Wont appear before court again Justice Karnan defiant as SC gives him 4 weeks to replyPTI/ file
news Law Friday, March 31, 2017 - 12:23

Sitting judge of the Calcutta High Court, Justice CS Karnan, appeared in the Supreme Court before a seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, for a contempt case against him on Friday.

At the conclusion of Friday’s 45-minute dramatic hearing, Justice Karnan was reportedly given four weeks’ time to file a written reply. According to reports, the seven-judge bench also ruled that until he sent his reply, Justice Karnan will not be allowed to perform his judicial or administrative duties.

This was the first instance where a sitting HC judge appeared before the court as a contemnor in a contempt Case.

Justice Karnan was asked to appear before the court after he made allegations of corruption against several judges in the Madras High Court, back in January. When he was pulled up by the Supreme Court for his allegations, Justice Karnan went on to claim corruption in the Supreme Court.

On Friday, following the Supreme Court’s hearing, Justice Karnan refused to back down, and said that he will pass an order against the judges. He said that he will not appear before the apex court again, and dared the SC to either restore him or punish him.

According to ANI, during the hearing, the Attorney General said that there is no question of non-comprehension by Justice Karnan, and that he was aware of what he was doing. But the Supreme Court reportedly refuted this claim and said, “We can see his (Justice Karnan) state of mind is not clear and he is not able to comprehend what exactly he is doing.”

The Calcutta HC judge though said, “I cannot be mentally fit unless I’m allowed to carry out my judicial duties.”

At the end of the hearing, Justice Karnan added that he is also going to ‘pass an order’ against the seven judges.

"We are asking you again and again. Do you say that you stand by whatever you have written or want to think about it, we will give you the time," the bench asked Karnan

In reply, Justice Karnan said, “I am fighting for general welfare not for any personal gain,” and re-iterated that his complaint should be investigated.

Justice Karnan added, “I can prove my case if the Honourable court allows me. I am not fighting against judiciary, I am fighting against corruption.”

Friday’s development comes after the apex court issued a bailable warrant against him on March 10, after he refused to appear before the court.  

Justice Karnan was asked to furnish a personal bond of Rs 10,000, according to the Supreme Court Rules, for failing to appear for summons.

In January this year, Justice Karnan had written a letter to Prime Minister Modi with an "initial list of corrupt judges" and three officers of the Madras High Court. He told the Prime Minister that the corruption charges can be proved by 'competent officers' of central agencies.

Following this letter, a seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court took note of several letters sent out by Justice Karnan, all of them alleging corruption in the Judiciary. The Court asked the Calcutta High Court judge to present himself before the bench, asking him why contempt of court charges should not be filed against him.

But not only did Justice Karnan refuse to appear before the court, he sent out another letter, this time to the Supreme Court itself. In this four-page letter, the Calcutta High Court judge reiterated his allegations against the Madras High Court judges, and asked that the contempt case be moved to Parliament instead.

A constitution bench comprising Khehar and six other judges had in February ordered that Justice Karnan would not discharge any judicial and administrative functions during the pendency of the proceedings.

(IANS inputs)

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