Justice Karnan accuses SC of caste bias in contempt case

Justice Karnan, who has been asked to be personally present in the court on February 13 to show cause.

New Delhi: Calcutta high court judge C.S. Karnan has questioned the authority and powers of the Supreme Court in issuing a notice to initiate contempt of court proceedings against him and said only Parliament has power to initiate action against a sitting high court judge.

Justice Karnan, who has been asked to be personally present in the court on February 13 to show cause, refused to budge from his stated position that some of the judges of the Madras high court are (allegedly) corrupt. In a letter addressed to the registrar general of the apex court, he said the “unusual order” passed by a seven-judge bench on February 8 affected Articles 14 (right to equality) and 21 (right to life) of the Constitution and a derogation of the principles of natural justice.

He said the suo motu contempt of court action (for his letters to the Prime Minister and other constitutional authorities alleging corruption in Madras HC) “is erroneous and has been wilfully and wantonly passed with malafide intention. Therefore, these proceedings may be referred to Parliament, where I will establish the high rate of corruption prevailing in the Madras HC judiciary.”

Playing the dalit card, Justice Karnan said, “The suo motu contempt order against me a dalit judge and restraining my judicial and administrative assignment is unethical and goes against the SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act. It is certainly a national issue and a wise decision would be to refer the issue to Parliament.” “The suo motu petition is not maintainable against a sitting judge of the high court...” he said.

Blaming the upper caste judges, he said, “The order violates Article 219 of the Constitution (relating to oath by a judge) since there is distinct ill-will in it.”

“The characteristic of this order clearly shows that the upper caste judges are taking the law in their hands and misusing their judicial power by operating the same against a SC/ST Judge (dalit) with malafide intention to get rid of him. This order is not sustainable under law.”

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