Let MPs hear case, says judge in dock

Let MPs hear case, says judge in dock

Summoned to appear before the Supreme Court on Monday in a contempt case, Calcutta High Court judge Justice C S Karnan has alleged prejudice by “upper caste judges”, and sought the matter be referred to Parliament.

In a signed letter to the Supreme Court registrar general, Justice Karnan contended that the suo motu contempt notice issued against him by the apex court was an attempt by upper caste judges to get rid of him as he was a Dalit. 

Justice Karnan’s letter was in response to an order passed by a seven-judge apex court bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar on Wednesday, initiating contempt proceedings against him. The order has sought his presence before the court on Monday.

The top court has already stripped him of all judicial and administrative work for repeatedly publicly making allegations against judges of the Madras High Court, where Justice Karnan was posted before his abrupt transfer to the Calcutta High Court.

“Please don’t let it be a case of ‘locking the stable after the horse has bolted’. 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 Act,” the letter read.

Accusing Justice Khehar of nursing a “prejudice” against him, he said, “I wish to state that courts have no power to enforce punishment against a sitting high court judge. This said, (the Supreme Court’s order against him) order does not conform to logic and therefore, it is not suitable for
execution.”

“The characteristic of this order clearly shows that 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,” he said.

It was not clear if Justice Karnan would appear before the apex court on Monday. Justice Karnan could not be reached for comments.

He defended the charges made by him against 20 judges of the Madras High Court and asked for referring the instant proceedings to Parliament to enable him to establish the “high rate of corruption”.

He explained that his intention was “only to uproot corruption prevailing at the Madras High Court, and not to spoil the sanctity and decorum of the court”. 

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