Calcutta High Court judge Justice CS Karnan on Monday chose not to appear before the Supreme Court in connection with suo motu contempt proceedings initiated against him. He instead wants the matter to be referred to the Parliament of India.
Choosing not to appear in Supreme Court, Justice Karnan in his written response to the apex court’s February 8 order contended that the contempt proceedings were “not sustainable”.
“Before obtaining any explanation from me, I wish to state that the Courts have no power to enforce punishment against a sitting judge of the High Court. The said order does not conform to logic, therefore it is not suitable for execution,” he has said in response communicated on February 10.
In an unprecedented move last week, the top Court had taken up suo motu cognisance of alleged contemptuous letters written by Justice CS Karnan against the Madras High Court Chief Justice addressed to various authorities.
The matter has now been deferred for three weeks.
“We are not aware of the reasons for his non-appearance. We, therefore, refrain from proceeding with the matter,” the bench said.
The seven judge bench, head by the CJI JS Khehar have last week asked Justice Karnan to appear in person today. He was also directed to refrain from taking judicial and administrative work.
The bench, also comprising justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur, P C Ghose and Kurian Joseph, had turned the letters into contempt proceedings against Justice Karnan which were addressed to Chief Justice of India, the Prime Minister and others.
Earlier, Justice Karnan was transferred from the Madras High Court to the Calcutta High Court for his alleged contemptuous conduct.
He had on February 15, 2016 stayed his transfer order after the apex court asked the Chief Justice of Madras High Court not to assign any judicial work to him.
The same day the apex court had suspended Justice Karnan’s order and made it clear that all administrative and judicial orders passed by him after the issuance of the proposal of his transfer from the Madras High Court to the Calcutta High Court shall remain stayed till further orders.
(With inputs from the PTI)