In an open letter to Calcutta High Court Justice CS Karnan, senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani on Sunday called him a “lunatic” and said the justice had lost his mind. “I am convinced you have lost your mind,” Jethmalani wrote in the letter. Justice Karnan had earlier accused the Supreme Court of being “anti-Dalit” for issuing the contempt notice against him.

“Your behaviour is that of a lunatic and some day that may be the only defence available to you — though with no bright chance of success,” Jethmalani wrote.

The senior lawyer even urged Karnan to withdraw his claims and “pray for pardon for every stupid action” he may have indulged in. “If you do not know the enormity of your madness do meet me and I might put some sense in your head,” he said.

Responding to the caste bias claims made by the justice, Jethmalani said the judiciary is the “only protection” in the “corruption-dominated” country. Jethmalani said he had worked all his life for the backward classes, but Karnan was “out to cause the greatest damage to their interests”.

“Please listen to the sensible advice of an old man who has hardly any concern other than service to the nation including other backward classes,” he concluded.

On February 8, the apex court had issued a contempt notice against Karnan for accusing several Supreme Court and high court judges of corruption. The bench had asked him to appear before it on February 13. The notice had been issued after Karnan had written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to do something about the “high corruption at the judiciary”.

The Supreme Court had issued a warrant against him for failing to appear for contempt proceedings despite its notice. Karnan had said the Supreme Court’s suo motu contempt of court notice against him an “error”.