Facing a contempt case, Calcutta High Court judge Justice CS Karnan appeared before the Supreme Court this morning and sought restoration of administrative and judicial work. Opposing the non-restoration of his judicial powers, Justice Karnan told the bench that he will not appear in the court on next date of hearing.
“I am also holding constitutional post. My dignity has been hurt and work has been taken away without hearing me,” Justice Karnan told the Supreme Court.
But the 7-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, refused to restore administrative and judicial work of Justice Karnan. The court, however, granted him 4 weeks time to respond to the contempt notice.
In an unprecedented order earlier this month on March 10, the Supreme Court had issued a warrant against serving Calcutta High Court judge CS Karnan to ensure his presence before it on March 31 in a contempt case.
“There is no other alternative to seek presence of Shri Justice C S Karnan. We issue bailable warrants of the sum of Rs 10,000 in the nature of personal bond to the satisfaction of the arresting officer,” the seven-judge bench had said in its order.
A week later, on March 17, Justice CS Karnan was served the warrant on the orders of the Supreme Court, by West Bengal Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purakayastha at his official residence in Kolkata.
Justice Karnan was on February 8 directed to show up in court to respond to a contempt notice, issued by a suo motu proceeding for writing letters, in which he levelled corruption charges against several sitting and retired judges.
Earlier in February, the seven-judge bench led by Chief Justice JS Khehar was mulling various options under the law. The court had said that it would give Justice Karnan adequate time to prepare his reply to the showcause notice under the Contempt of Courts Act and present his case.
On his part, Justice Karnan had stated that the Supreme Court has “no locus standi” to issue a bailable warrant against a sitting judge and alleged that he was being targeted for being a dalit.
Justice Karnan also issued an ‘order’ of registration of a case under Schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 against Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar and six other judges.
(With inputs from PTI)