Has the Supreme Court got so worked over a judge? Well, that’s happening for the first time in India. The judge of Calcutta High Court, Justice Karnan was issued a contempt order by the seven judge bench of the Supreme Court. The facts leading to this order is as follows.
Justice CS Karnan was appointed as the additional judge in Madras High Court in 2009. Everything started from 2011. In 2011, Karnan called a press conference for accusing a fellow judge of the High court of caste discrimination. He stated that the judge deliberately touched him with his foot and discriminated him so. The next even happened in 2015. He interrupted the argument which was going on in a courtroom in the Madras High Court on judicial appointments. He demanded the court to hear him. Again, in April 2015, he began a suo motu contempt proceedings against the CJ of the Madras High Court, Sanjay Kishan Kaul. The reason that he stated was that the CJ was purposefully harassing and discriminating him as a lower caste and that is why, he has been giving him “insignificant and dummy” portfolios. The Supreme Court interfered into the matter and stayed these proceeding.
In February 2016, Karnan accused the CJ of Madras High Court of corruption but there was no evidence to back these allegations. Hence, the apex court transferred him to Calcutta High Court but Justice Karnan issued a stay order on the transfer order of the apex court itself. Thereafter, when the two-judge bench tried to lift the stay order, he asked the Chennai police to book a case against them under SC/ST Atrocities Act. The apex court, finally, threatened to issue contempt notice against him. Immediately, he withdrew his statements and justified it by saying that his mental balance was severely affected by the events.
Recently, he sent a list of judges’ name, retired and sitting judges, to the Prime Minister stating that he wanted an interrogation of them on grounds of corruption. Further, he sparked off a debate with a fellow judge in the Calcutta High Court in an open court over the granting of bail to the accused in Kolkata Flyover case.
All these led to a seven-judge bench of the apex court to issue a contempt proceedings against Justice CS Karnan. It is interesting to note that even after holding him guilty, Justice CS Karnan is trying to evade the law by not surrendering to the police.