Appearing for himself in a packed courtroom Justice Karnan shouts at Bench that he will not come before it again.
On Friday, in an openly confrontational hearing, controversial Calcutta High Court Judge, Justice C.S. Karnan challenged a Seven Judge Bench of Supreme Court to “arrest and put him in the jail” for Contempt.
Countering an order of Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar to file an Affidavit explaining his disparaging remarks and allegations of corruption against the fellow High Courts and Supreme Court Judges, Justice Karnan accused the Bench of robbing him of his mental and physical balance and his dignity by stripping him of his judicial and administrative powers as a High Court Judge.
Justice Karnan was appearing for first time before Apex Court Bench in contempt action against him.
He had refused to appear before it despite repeated notice from Apex Court summoning him. Finally, Court had to issue a bailable warrant against him, which was served on him by Police Team led by the West Bengal Director General of Police.
Justice Karnan, appearing for himself in a packed courtroom, shouted at Bench that he will not come before it again.
“Had I not come today, you would have issued an non-bailable warrant against me… What way am I an offender or an anti-social element or a terrorist for you… you should protect my dignity, my personal life has been destroyed, police entered my colony and people are watching me,” stated Justice Karnan.
“We issued bailable warrants against you Mr. Karnan not because you were an accused but because you did not enter procedure. You are not a terrorist,” Chief Justice Khehar responded.
When the court gave Justice Karnan the choice between rendering an unconditional apology for his scurrilous letters and accusations against the judiciary, Justice Karnan rebutted saying they should first restore his powers as a judge in order for him to be in a position to prove his allegations.
The allegations of Justice Karnan had prompted the contempt action — the first in the court’s history against a sitting High Court judge.
Finally, after a 45-minute hearing, Chief Justice Khehar recorded that Justice Karnan was replying neither coherently nor affirmatively about the accusations he had made, thus giving him an option to pen them down in an affidavit to be filed in the next four weeks
Supreme Court refused his plea to restore his Judicial and Administrative duties.
“I have lost my physical and mental balance… If you do not restore my work, you can very well now impose any punishment you want,” Justice Karnan stated.
“If you feel you are not mentally fit to respond to us in an affidavit, you give us medical certificate,” Chief Justice Khehar replied.
“The Medical certificate is not required. You have disturbed me like anything,” Justice Karnan replied to the Bench.
The hearing started with Justice Karnan explaining that his “fight is not against the judiciary or for the personal gains”.
“My fight is against the Corruption,” Justice Karnan submitted, handing over letter concerning allegations against the 20 Judges to Bench.
“If you unconditionally apologise, the matter will take a different course. If you choose to accuse ‘a’ or ‘y’, matter will be adjudicated,” Justice Dipak Misra observed.
Bench also comprised of Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice P.C. Ghose and Justice Kurian Joseph.
The next hearing is on May 1, 2017.
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