NEW DELHI: In first in judicial history, the sitting Calcutta High Court Judge C S Karnan appeared before the Supreme Court on Friday in pursuance of the bailable warrant issued against him in a suo-motu contempt case.
The contempt proceedings have been initiated against Justice Karnan for writing letters to various judges including the Prime Minister, accusing several judges of corruption.
Justice Karnan appeared before a seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar and pleaded that his judicial work should be restored.
On this, CJI asked him, “Are you willing to tender apology.”
Replying in negative, Justice Karnan said, “I only want my judicial work to be restored as I too hold a constitutional posts and can’t be denied my work.”
However, the bench declines to restore judicial work to Justice Karnan and says if he wants he can engage a lawyer to defend himself.
The bench gave Justice Karnan four weeks time to file affidavit and ask him to make up his mind on whether to apologise or stand legal action against contempt.
This led Justice Karnan to dare the apex court to impose punishment on him saying he won't appear again unless his judicial work is restored.
Karnan questioned as to why the Supreme Court withdrew his work without even hearing him. “Am I a terrorist that police knocked only doors to serve a warrant?”
CJI also ask Justice Karnan to produce medical certificates if he could not understand the questions posed by it and said, “If you feel you are not mentally fit to answer the queries of court, you give us a medical certificate.”
Justice Karnan then tells the bench that he has been harassed by senior judges for being a Dalit and all his complaints against judges was in public interest.
“Arrest me and punish me if u want. Restore my job,” Justice Karnan shouts at bench as they rise.
“I am being targeted as I am a Dalit. This is a caste issue. The order has been deliberately issued against me. This is an attempt to ruin my life. The warrant is unconstitutional.”
On last date of hearing, the court had asked Justice Karnan to appear in person and explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him. It had restrained him from undertaking judicial and administrative work.