Justice Karnan Approaches President and Parliament

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Calcutta High Court judge Justice C S Karnan, who is fighting a judicial battle in the contempt of court case, has written a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Members of Parliament and leaders of all political parties narrating about the case and his stand.

Justice Karnan has petitioned President Pranab Mukherjee under Article 72 of the Constitution of India.

In the Petition filed under Article 72 of the Constitution of India, Justice Karnan demands suspension or stay of operation of the order passed by the 7 Judge Bench on 9 May, and thereby pleads, “The Petitioner is denied justice. The concept of justice is divine; it is his birth right and when justice is denied to him by the highest Court of the land, the only authority which the Petitioner could think of to seek justice is Your Excellency, the President of India, the symbol of “We, the People of India”, the sovereign.”

The Petition accuses the Supreme Court of assuming the power to remove a Judge of the High Court through recourse to the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, without discussion as to whether or not any such jurisdiction is vested in the Supreme Court.

According to Justice Karnan,  he was not only impeached, but even being sent to the jail without any such impeachment motion against me, be a mere judicial order of a 7-judge bench.

The Supreme Court sent Calcutta high court judge Chinnaswamy Swaminathan Karnan to six months in prison on charges of contempt.

This is the first time a sitting judge of a high court may be arrested and put behind bars.

Karnan’s arrest orders came a day after he sentenced Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and six other judges of the Supreme Court to five years in jail under the SC /ST Act.

The SC called this order the “gravest form of contempt” and Karnan’s offence as “grave and serious”.

The controversy began in January when Karnan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order an investigation against judges of the Madras high court and the apex court of corruption.

On February 8, the Supreme Court found him in contempt, a first for a high court judge in the country. He was asked for an explanation but he repeatedly ignored the orders of the court. On March 10, the court issued a bailable warrant and took away judicial work from him.

He rejected the warrant and accused his colleagues and seniors of caste bias, saying he was being singled out for being a Dalit.

This was followed by a string of tit-for-tat orders by the top court and Karnan, who remained defiant and continued to address the press and issuing diktats from his Kolkata home.

Earlier, the SC ordered Karnan to appear before a medical board for a mental health evaluation but the 61-year-old judge refused to comply.

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