“If you don’t suspend Karthikeyan, a police inspector in Cuddalore, within 24 hours, we may be constrained to observe that there is no law and order in the State,” the first bench of the Madras High Court orally observed on Thursday.
The bench comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam made the observation during the course of arguments on a suo-motu writ petition.
The bench also requested the office-bearers of the Bar Associations in Cuddalore, Chidambaram and Neyveli to call off the boycott, as the ultimate sufferer would be the poor litigants and boycotting of courts was not the solution for any problem, especially when this court had already taken up the matter on the judicial side.
Originally, in his letter dated September 4 last to the Cuddalore District Judge, V Pugazhendhi, Judicial Magistrate-III, alleged that Karthikeyan met him in his chambers, questioned the Magistrate how he could return Form 95, threatened him and misbehaved with him. In turn, the District Judge wrote a letter to the Registrar-General and informed him that the Cuddalore Bar Association had resolved to boycott the courts indefinitely till action was taken against Karthikeyan. The District Judge also by another letter dated September 10 told the RG that the local DIG and SP did not take any action against the inspector despite his direction.
The bench suo-motu treated all these communications in a writ petition on Thursday. Advocate-General A Navaneethakrishnan told the bench that there were contradictory statements. No such incident happened as the inspector was on medical leave. It was in fact the inspector, who had been wrongfully confined in the court-hall for two hours. The lawyers created problems. “In any case, we will conduct a thorough inquiry, find out who were involved in the incident and place the facts before the court. If the version of the Magistrate was found true, we would take stern action against the inspector,” the bench said and posted the matter for September 17.
The bench directed the Cuddalore DIG and the SP to contact the local District Judge to discuss the matter and take suitable action.