The Supreme Court on Tuesday sentenced sitting Calcutta High Court judge Justice C S Karnan to six months imprisonment. The apex court held Justice CS Karnan guilty of contempt of court for his utterances against the Chief Justice of India and other judges of the apex court and the Madras High Court.
The seven-judge bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar had barred the electronic and print media from carrying any of his statements.
The apex court had earlier asked all courts and tribunals not to take cognizance of any orders issued by Justice Karnan, set to retire in June.
The court further ordered the immediate arrest of Justice Karnan.
Meanwhile, Justice Karnan told CNN-News18 that the SC has no authority to pass an order and insisted that he would not surrender.
Just a day before, on Monday, Justice Karnan awarded five-year â€œrigorous imprisonmentâ€ to seven Supreme Court judges including CJI and imposed a fine of Rs 100,000 on each of them after holding them guilty of harassing a “Dalit Judge” (him), with a “common intention” under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 and the amended Act of 2015.
In January, Justice Karnan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi naming 20 “corrupt judges” and seeking probe against them to curb “high corruption” in the Indian judiciary.
He had also written a series of letters making allegations against the judges of the apex court and the high court.
The Supreme Court initiated contempt proceedings against Justice Karnan on February 8 and restrained him from performing judicial and administrative work.
After he failed to appear on March 10, in another first time move, the Supreme Court issued a bailable warrant against him.
Karnan appeared before the seven-judge bench on March 31, but renewed the confrontation on April 13, passing a “judicial order” against them for “violating” the SC/ST Act and also asked them to appear before him.
Later, he directed the Air Control Authority in New Delhi not to allow the CJI and other six judges to travel abroad.
Then the Supreme Court asked him to undergo a medical test on May 04, but Karnan not only refused to comply, but also hit back by directing Delhi Police to conduct a psychiatric test of the seven judges.
The judge continued his tirade against the Supreme Court judges, accusing them of caste bias.