NEW DELHI: The government’s chief legal advisor, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, on Monday said he was at “a loss of words” to explain the conduct of Calcutta High Court judge Justice C S Karnan, who has refused a Supreme Court order to present himself before the court in a contempt case.
“I am greatly saddened by what is happening. A sitting judge of a High Court, who is supposed to be a matured individual, is acting in a reckless manner making scurrilous allegations against brother judges of the High Court, against sitting judges of the Supreme Court,” said the Attorney General, who has been asked by the Supreme Court to assist in the matter.
Speaking to a television channel, Rohatgi demanded that action be taken against Justice Karnan, who had alleged that he was being targeted for being a Dalit.
“To talk about the Dalit card and all that is absolutely without substance. We have judges from all walks of life. Whether minority, majority, caste, religion. We never had this kind of thing. Judges are not appointed on the basis of caste or religion. They are appointed on the basis of merit or standing,” Rohatgi said.
He also insisted that “the government has nothing to do with this. It is a matter really internally of the judiciary. The judiciary has to solve it and obviously the message must go out loud and clear that if it happens, these kind of things happen within the judiciary, the judiciary must come out openly and ensure that it will act in the same manner or maybe a little stricter, if it happens amongst you”.
“It’s very saddening and actually I am at a loss of words to explain such conduct. Not appearing before the court, defying the court. See, for a country which follows the rule of law, everybody has to obey the order of a court... The higher you go, greater the obedience. Whatever the message he was sending, this way the institution will crumble. The rule of law will break down and it will be complete anarchy,” Rohatgi said.
Earlier this month, the apex court had issued bailable warrant against Justice Karnan to ensure he appears before it on March 31. If Justice Karnan fails to appear on March 31, then the court might issue a non-bailable warrant against him.
Contempt proceedings were initiated against Justice Karnan for writing letters to various judges and the Prime Minister, accusing several judges of corruption.