Justice Karnan vs Supreme Court: saga of a defiant judge

Karnan issues warrant against CJI, six judges

Calcutta High Court judge C.S. Karnan on Tuesday issued a non-bailable warrant against Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar and six Supreme Court judges. The seven judges were on the Bench which had issued a contempt of court notice against him.

The development comes a day after the Supreme Court ordered a medical examination to be conducted on Justice Karnan to confirm if he was “feigning mental imbalance”.

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

He also described the seven judges as “absent” in his latest order.

On Monday, soon after the Supreme Court ordered the medical examination, Justice Karnan issued an order instructing the Director-General of Police, New Delhi, to produce the seven judges before a psychiatric board. Also refusing to undergo medical tests as directed by the Supreme Court, he said the Supreme Court order was a “harassment order” and an “insult” to a Dalit judge like him.

Twists and turns

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

“The tenor of the press briefings, as also the purported order passed by him [directing Chief Justice Khehar and seven Supreme Court judges to appear before him in Kolkata on May 1], indicate that he may not be in a position to defend himself in the present proceedings,” the Supreme Court Bench said in its order for medical examination.

In February, the Supreme Court issued a contempt of court notice against Justice Karnan for allegedly degrading the judicial institution.

A seven-judge Bench led by Chief Justice Khehar heard Attorney-General Mukul Rohtagi, who said Justice Karnan should face contempt proceedings for his “scurrilous” letters against sitting and retired High Court and Supreme Court judges. Justice Karnan had written to the Prime Minister and allegedly accused several retired and sitting Supreme Court and High Court judges of corruption.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 11:00:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnan-issues-warrant-against-cji-six-judges/article18358985.ece

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