Justice C S Karnan who is facing contempt charges defied the orders of the Supreme Court and refused to appear before it. He was directed to appear before a seven judge bench of the court on Monday. The bench is currently debating how to deal with the defiance. The court has now given Karnan time till March 10 to reply to the contempt notice.
Karnan had created a storm after he alleged that he was being targeted because he was a Dalit. He also questioned the collegium of the Supreme Court which transferred him from the Madras high court to Calcutta. Senior counsel, K K Venugopal appearing for the Madras high court told the Bench that the judges need protection from Justice Karnan's verbal abuse and wild charges. He also said that the judge had levelled malicious rape charges against a Madras HC judge. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court had issued contempt notices to Karnan, a sitting judge of the Calcutta high court.
The SC also directed the judge to be present before the court on February 13 to explain why contempt proceedings could not be initiated against him. The court also withdrew all judicial work from Karnan and asked him to return all files. It is for the first time in history that a contempt case is being heard against a sitting judge of a high court. A seven-judge Constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar is hearing the case against Karnan who had lashed out at his colleagues accusing them of corruption.
Karnan had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 23 accusing a sitting high court judge due for elevation of corruption. He also said that the charges levelled by him must be probed.