The Chief Justice of Madras High Court R.K. Agarawal in a letter to the Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam has accused a fellow judge, C.S. Karnan, of acts unbecoming the conduct of a judge and sought his transfer from the Madras High Court.

In his letter, Justice Agarwal has complained that on January 8, the day the Madras High Court Advocates Association had given a call for boycott of Court work, Justice Karnan ‘barged’ into his chambers hurling ‘a valley of invectives.’

Asserting that the charges levelled against him by Justice Karnan are baseless and figment of imagination, the Chief Justice quoted the judge as telling him that he has not been vested with any administrative powers and he was not able to control the High Court.

“He also said that because of me, there is a problem among advocates in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. He also added that I should resign immediately. All this time, I remained silent… My private secretary was witness to this incident. Before leaving, he threatened that he would come again tomorrow if his portfolio of cases, which he presides over in Court every day, is not immediately changed”, the letter of the Chief Justice said.

On the alleged request of the Judge to change his portfolio of cases, the Chief Justice said he had to covey him that it would be considered at the time of change of roster in March 2014.

“My Lord, from the date of my joining here as Acting Chief Justice on 7.2.2013 and subsequently after I took over as the Chief Justice, I have been receiving lot of complaints from my brother Judges [and also advocates] against Mr. Justice C.S. Karnan.

“In fact, some of my brother Judges are afraid of him. They have privately confided in me the apprehensions that they have from Mr. Justice C.S. Karnan. The conduct of Justice Karnan, as the present incident shows, is not only unbecoming of a Judge but also tends to undermine the dignity of the Chief Justice and brings a bad name to the institution”, Mr. Agarwal said. May I humbly suggest that in the interest of public, i.e. for better administration of justice and for greater confidence in the demeanour and conduct of the Judges, he may be transferred from Madras High Court at the earliest.

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