Supreme Court Issues Arrest Warrant Against HC Judge

2019 ias preliminary exam test series

The Supreme Court issued bailable warrants against serving Calcutta High Court judge C S Karnan to ensure his presence before it on March 31 in a contempt case.

A seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar took strong note of Justice Karnan’s non-appearance despite being served with the contempt notice and asked the Director General of West Bengal Police to execute the warrants on the judge to ensure his presence at 10.30 AM on March 31.

Justice Karnan goes down in the Indian judicial history as the first serving High Court judge against whom an arrest warrant has been issued by the apex court in a contempt case.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that Justice Karnan had defied the Supreme Court order and the apex court rules on contempt provide for issuance of bailable and non-bailable warrants against a contemnor to ensure his presence.

After the alleged open contemptuous letters written by Justice Karnan against the Madras HC Chief Justice, addressed to the CJI, Prime Minister and others, the court had initiated proceedings against him.

The apex court had on February 8 asked Justice Karnan to appear in person and explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him. It had restrained him from undertaking judicial and administrative work.

However, Justice Karnan did not appear before the apex court on February 13 also. On February 10, Justice Karnan had written a letter to the apex court in which he had reportedly played the Dalit card asking the Supreme Court to refer the matter to Parliament, contending that contempt proceedings were “not sustainable”.

“Before obtaining any explanation from me, I wish to state that the courts have no power to enforce punishment against a sitting judge of the High Court. The said order does not conform to logic, therefore it is not suitable for execution,” he had said in the letter.

Justice Karnan was transferred from the Madras HC to the Calcutta HC for his alleged contemptuous conduct. He had on February 15, 2016 stayed his transfer order after the apex court asked the Chief Justice of Madras High Court not to assign any judicial work to him.

Current Affairs for IAS Exam