Justice Karnan vs Supreme Court: saga of a defiant judge

Stop allotting work to Justice Karnan, SC tells Madras High Court

Supreme Court bench of Justices J.S. Khehar and R. Banumathi restrained Justice Karnan from passing any suo motu orders.

Supreme Court bench of Justices J.S. Khehar and R. Banumathi restrained Justice Karnan from passing any suo motu orders.  

Justice C.S. Karnan, has allegedly threatened to stay suo motu the Chief Justice of India's letter transferring him to Calcutta High Court.

In an unprecedented development in the Indian judiciary and a blow to institutional esteem, the Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Madras High Court Chief Justice to stop allotting judicial work to sitting Madras High Court judge, Justice C.S. Karnan.

Even as this order was being passed by a bench of Justices J.S. Khehar and R. Banumathi, Justice C.S Karnan took suo motu cognisance of the >Chief Justice of India's letter dated February 12 transferring him to Calcutta High Court.

Stays his own transfer order

Justice Karnan stayed his own transfer and directed the Chief Justice of India to file a written statement through his subordinates explaining the reason for transferring him by February 29, 2016.

In an urgent post lunch mentioning, the Madras High Court Registrar General apprised Justice Khehar's bench about the latest development.

"We will tweak our earlier order to cover this also," Justice Khehar assured.

A bench of Justices J.S. Khehar and R. Banumathi had earlier in the day restrained Justice Karnan from passing any suo motu orders. And even if he does, the apex court had said, such suo motu orders would have no effect in a bid to literally isolate the judge.

Speaking for the Bench in its order, Justice Khehar was informed by senior advocate KK Venugopal, for the Registrar General, that Justice Karnan has received his transfer order dated February 12.

"On account of the fact that Justice C.S. Karnan had received his transfer order, we consider it just and appropriate to allow the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court not to allow any further judicial work to him," Justice Khehar had observed in the written order.

The Bench said the order should be circulated to Justice Karnan for his perusal and if he is so advised he can make an appearance in the apex court "at his own cost".

Registry authorities had made an urgent plea on Friday to the Supreme Court to intervene following a letter shot off by its sitting judge, >Justice C.S. Karnan, accusing Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul of caste discrimination >.

Justice Khehar however said this issue would be taken up in due course as it is not "immediate".

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 4:55:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-intervenes-in-justice-karnanjustice-kaul-standoff/article8240425.ece

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