SC issues bailable warrant against Calcutta HC judge

SC issues bailable warrant against Calcutta HC judge

The Supreme Court on Friday issued bailable warrant against Calcutta High Court judge C S Karnan for failing to appear before it.

The judge was to respond to suo motu contempt proceedings initiated against him on February 8 and appear in person for making allegations against judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court.

A seven-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice J S Khehar took the adverse action against the sitting judge, rejecting his fax message to the apex court registry. He has sought a meeting with the Chief Justice of India and other judges to discuss the issues raised by him.

The bench said his communication  seemed to “reflect the allegations levelled by him against certain named judges”.

“The fax message, dated 08.03.2017, cannot be considered as a response of Justice Karnan, either to the contempt petition, or to the notice served upon him. In view of the above, there is no other alternative but to seek the presence of Justice Karnan by issuing bailable warrants,” the court said.

The bench also includes Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur, P C Ghose and Kurian Joseph.
 
“Bailable warrants, in the sum of Rs 10,000, in the nature of a personal bond, to the satisfaction of the arresting officer, be issued, to ensure the presence of Justice Karnan, in this court, on 31.03.2017, at 10.30 am,” the bench added.

The court asked the West Bengal Director General of Police to serve the bailable warrant on Justice Karnan. Justice Karnan had failed to appear before the court on February 13.

­At the outset of the proceedings on Friday, the bench noted that the contempt notice was duly served on Justice Karnan but he preferred not to appear either in person or through a counsel, though “his personal presence was imperative”.

The controversial judge had earlier, in February 2016, stayed his own transfer from Madras to Calcutta HC.

Judge hits back
Reacting to the development, Justice Karnan told reporters that the SC order was “unconstitutional”.

He said he was targeted for being a Dalit.

He claimed to have issued an order for registration of a case under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 against Chief Justice J S Khehar and the six other judges.

He claimed he has also asked the President to stay the apex court proceedings against him.
Justice Karnan said the SC order was “arbitrary” and aimed “to ruin his life and career”.

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