A timeline of events in the Justice Karnan case 

From the time of Justice C S Karnan's appointment as Madras High Court Judge in 2009, here is a timeline of events that led to a Supreme Court ordering his imprisonment for six months

Published: 05th July 2017 10:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th July 2017 10:30 PM   |  A+A-

Justice CS Karnan. (EPS)


NEW DELHI: Following is the chronology of events in former High Court judge Justice C S Karnan’s contempt case in which the Supreme Court today came out with a detailed judgment, which was signed yesterday, leading to his six-month jail term:

*March 30, 2009: Justice C S Karnan appointed as Madras High Court judge.

*2011: Justice Karnan writes to National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) alleging discrimination and victimisation by fellow judges as he was a Dalit.

*Jan 8, 2014: Justice Karnan barges into a jam-packed court room where a bench was hearing a PIL seeking withdrawal of names recommended for appointment as additional judges and says the selection was “not fair”.

*Nov, 2015: Justice Karnan writes a letter to the then Madras HC Chief Justice S K Kaul with copies marked to President of India and Chief Justice of India, accusing Justice Kaul of harassment and belittlement.

*Feb, 2016: CJI recommends transfer of High Court judges.

*Feb 15: Justice Karnan stays order transferring him,

asks the then CJI Thakur to file reply.

*Feb 15: SC suspends Justice Karnan’s order and makes it clear that all administrative and judicial orders passed by him after the issuance of the proposal of his transfer from the Madras High Court to the Calcutta High Court shall remain stayed till further orders.

*Mar 11: Takes charge as Calcutta High Court judge.

*Dec 21: Justice Karnan writes to SC Registry seeking

permission to allow him to argue his case, relating to his own transfer, in person.

*Jan 9, 2017: SC allows Justice Karnan’s plea to argue his transfer case.

*Feb 8: Seven-judge SC bench issues show cause notice to Calcutta HC Judge C S Karnan after taking suo motu cognisance of its contempt.

*Feb 10: Justice C S Karnan writes to SC Registry in connection with the contempt proceedings initiated against him and asks the Supreme Court to refer the matter to Parliament, contending it was “not sustainable”.

*Feb 13: Justice Karnan fails to appear before SC bench.

*Mar 10: SC issues bailable warrant against Justice


*Mar 31: Justice Karnan appears in SC, seeks restoration of administrative and judicial work. SC grants him four weeks’ time to respond to the contempt notice.

*May 1: SC directs medical examination of Justice Karnan.

*May 2: Justice Karnan issues non-bailable warrants

against seven judges of the Supreme Court, including the CJI, for not being represented before him.

*May 4: Justice Karnan refuses to undergo medical examination, says he has a stable mind.

*May 8: Justice Karnan ‘sentences’ CJI, 7 other SC judges to 5 years rigorous imprisonment.

*May 9: SC finds Justice C S Karnan guilty of contempt of court and sentences him to jail for six months, ordering that he be taken into custody forthwith.

*May 19: SC refuses to accept for hearing Justice Karnan’s plea to recall his six-month jail term.

*May 21: Karnan’s counsel makes fresh representation to the President seeking suspension of the SC order.

*June 7: SC once again refuses to hear Karnan’s plea seeking a stay on its order.

*June 20: West Bengal police arrests Justice Karnan from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

*June 21: SC turns down Justice Karnan’s bail plea.

*July 3: SC refuses urgent hearing on Karnan’s plea

seeking bail and challenging the award of six month jail term for contempt.


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