Thursday, Feb 22, 2018 | Last Update : 04:47 AM IST
The top court said his petition was not maintainable.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has refused to register a writ petition filed by Justice C.S. Karnan, of the Calcutta high court, to recall the May 9 order sentencing him to six months imprisonment for contempt of court. The top court said his petition was not maintainable. As a result, Justice Karnan has no other option but to surrender and serve the sentence as his plea to the President for mercy is unlikely to be considered in the next few days.
An order passed by the registrar (judicial) on May 12 said, “The proceedings were decided on merit, and after due consideration... As a sequel, the petitioner also stands convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for six months. The said findings have since attained finality.”
The registrar said that it was well settled that judicial proceedings of the apex court are not amenable to challenge under Article 32 of the Constitution. He said, “I am constrained to hold that the writ petition is not maintainable. The relief, if any, lies somewhere else. I, thus, see no reasonable cause to receive the present writ petition for registration.”
In his petition, Justice Karnan said that the entire proceeding from February 8, when the contempt notice was issued, to his conviction and sentence, was without jurisdiction.
He said that from a mere reading of the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, it was manifest that what could constitute criminal contempt was any “publication” which scandalises, or tends to scandalise, or lowers or tends to lower, the authority of any court.
Justice Karnan said the allegations contained in the said letter were against the judges named therein and not against any court — neither the Madras high court nor the Supreme Court. If the said allegations were untrue, they would, at the most, amount to defamation, which would entail an actionable right, both civil and criminal, in the judges named in the said letter. The May 9 order, sending him to jail for six months, was passed in his absence, he pointed out, and sought a declaration that the contempt notice issued on February 8 is void.
Aggressive judge on backfoot
Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court had warned Calcutta HC judge Justice C.S. Karnan for sending his advocate repeatedly to seek urgent hearing against the award of six month jail term to him. ‘We are saying no and yet you (lawyer) continue to come again and again. You come five times or 20 times. But we are telling you that you are interfering with the process of the court. Everyday you are interfering with the process of court. We are liberal to you. It is for you to understand, we can be liberal and harsh,’ a five-judge constitution which was hearing a batch of pleas on triple talaq said.