New Delhi: Calcutta High Court’s Justice CS Karnan appeared before the top court’s seven-judge bench on Friday. His refusal to appear for the court proceedings earned him a bailable warrant. SC declined to restore his work and asked him to reply to the contempt notice in the coming four weeks.
The 61-year-old controversial judge argued his case before the bench headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar. He was as defiant as ever.
When the seven-judge bench – which had stripped him of his administrative and judicial work in February – declined to accept his plea to restore his work, he dared them to “send me to jail” in the contempt case.
“Restore my work or next time, I will not appear before your court,” the judge said, adding, “I am not a terrorist or anti-social person”.
Before Justice Karnan left the court premises later, he also asked the Supreme Court Registrar not to allocate any work to the seven judges including the Chief Justice of India “as they are in contempt of my order”.
The Supreme Court has declined Justice Karnan’s plea and ordered him to furnish his reply to the contempt notice within four weeks.
“We can see that his mind (Justice Karnan) is not clear and he is not able to comprehend what he is doing,” the Bench observed. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, however, added: “There is no question of non-comprehension, he is very clear.”
The top court had initiated the contempt proceedings after the judge sought a probe against 20 “corrupt judges” to curb “high corruption” in the judiciary.
On Friday, the bench gave the judge an opportunity to withdraw his complaint.
“Do you stand by your complaint against the 20 judges? Or do you wish to withdraw your complaint and unconditionally apologise,” the bench asked him. He refused the offer, insisting that the complaint he had given “was very much under the law”. The court, shot back: “Despite being a judge you don’t know the procedure.”