Supreme Court issues bailable warrant against Justice Karnan in contempt case

Cheryl Sanders
March 10, 2017

The Supreme Court on Friday issued a bailable warrant against sitting Calcutta high court judge CS Karnan for his failure to appear before it in a contempt case.

The court on Friday directed the Director General of Police, West Bengal, to serve the bailable warrant on Justice Karnan.

The proceedings were initiated after Justice Karnan allegedly wrote letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Justice, and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, levelling allegations of corruption against certain members of the higher judiciary.

The bench, however, refused to consider the March 8 communication as a response of Justice Karnan on the contempt notice observing that it reflected allegations "on certain named judges".

Last month, the court had issued a contempt notice to him and asked him to appear before it. "Ordered accordingly. 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 Shri Justice C S Karnan, in this Court, on March 31 at 10.30 A.M", it said.

But, justice Karnan did not obey the court order and failed to appear. And the Supreme Court Rules provide that if you fail to appear, despite notice being served, a bailable warrant can be issued. Also, he alleged corruption cases and caste discrimination against some judges.

In a first, apex court initiated contempt proceedings against a sitting High Court judge.

He further said that the SC judges, who passed the order against him, have committed contempt of court. He was subsequently transferred to the Calcutta high court. Thus, the apex court postponed the hearing by three weeks.

And it does not seem like Justice Karnan is as unaffected by the matter as he projects.

But not only did Justice Karnan refuse to appear before the court, he sent out another letter, this time to the Supreme Court itself. We have to see what we can so, what we can't is a vital issue.

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