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SC holds Justice C S Karnan in contempt, sentences 6-month imprisonment

karnan, sc, contempt

The Supreme Court on Tuesday held Calcutta High Court’s Justice C.S. Karnan guilty of contempt and ordered that he be jailed for six months.

The court ordered the Director General of West Bengal Police to constitute a team for the implementation of its order “forthwith”.

Holding Karnan guilty of contempt for his utterances against the Chief Justice of India and other judges of the apex court and the Madras High Court, a seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar had barred the electronic and print media from carrying any of his statements.

“We are of the unanimous view that Justice C.S. Karnan is guilty of contempt of court and interfered with judicial process of grievous nature,” the court said in its order.

The bench also said it was satisfied in punishing him and sending him to jail for six months.

The 61-year-old judge earned the top court’s ire after he named 20 ‘corrupt judges’ in the judiciary earlier this year and demanded an investigation alleging corruption.

He also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging a probe.

The Supreme Court then transferred him from the Madras High Court to Kolkata – a decision he critiqued as victimisation since he was a Dalit.

Justice Karnan had on May 4 declined to undergo a mental health checkup as ordered by the Supreme Court, telling a team of doctors he was “absolutely normal” and had a “stable mind”.

The apex court has taken suo motu cognisance of various letters written by Justice Karnan against judges of the Madras High court and the Supreme Court and restrained him from exercising administrative and judicial power from February 8.

Justice Karnan appeared before the Supreme Court on March 31 in connection with the contempt proceeding, becoming the first high court judge to do so in the history of Indian judiciary.

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