Justice Karnan vs Supreme Court: saga of a defiant judge

Justice Karnan refuses to undergo medical test

Tells a team of visiting doctors who arrived at his residence that he is absolutely normal and has a stable mind

A team of doctors from a State-run mental hospital, accompanied by police officers, arrived at Calcutta High Court Judge C.S. Karnan’s residence in New Town here on Thursday to examine him on the instructions of the Supreme Court.

Justice Karnan, however, refused to undergo a medical test and told the team that he was absolutely normal and had a stable mind.

“Further, it is my strong view that the Supreme Court order amounts to an insult [to] and harassment of a Dalit judge,” he said in his written response to the chairman of the medical board of the Calcutta Pavlov Hospital which came to conduct the medical test.

The team of doctors arrived at Justice Karnan’s residence at around 12 noon and left about an hour later.

On Monday, the Supreme Court had ordered that Justice Karnan be subjected to a medical examination on May 4 to ascertain whether he was “feigning mental imbalance.” It instructed the Director General of Police (DGP) of West Bengal to deploy police personnel for the purpose. Within hours of the Supreme Court’s order, Justice Karnan issued an order directing the DGP of New Delhi to produce the seven judges of the Supreme Court hearing his case, including the Chief Justice of India J.S.Kehar, before a psychiatric medical board attached the AIIMS Hospital in the capital city.

Non-bailable warrants

On Tuesday, Justice Karnan issued non-bailable warrants against the seven judges. “The Registrar General, High Court at Calcutta, is directed to issue the non-bailable warrants to the above named accused, to be executed through the Director General of Police or Commissioner of Police of New Delhi,” he said in his order.

Last month, Justice Karnan had directed the Supreme Court judges to appear before him on May 28 and later “reposted” the matter to May 1.

In February, the Supreme Court had issued a contempt of court notice against the judge for allegedly degrading the judiciary. The seven judge Bench led by the Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar heard Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi who argued that Justice Karnan should face contempt proceedings for his “scurrilous” letters against sitting and retired High Court and Supreme Court judges.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 2:04:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/justice-karnan-refuses-to-undergo-medical-test/article18385496.ece

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