The Supreme Court on Monday ordered Calcutta High Court’s Justice CS Karnan to undergo a medical examination. The seven-judge bench called for a medical board to be established to check the 61-year-old’s mental health and submit a report by May 8. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for May 18.
Karnan is facing contempt charges for degrading the judiciary and making allegations of corruption against Supreme Court judges. The SC bench had rejected his demand to be allowed to discharge his judicial duties, holding that the high court judge was not in a clear state of mind. It had issued a bailable warrant against him on March 17.
Responding to the top court’s latest order, Justice Karnan questioned why seven judges were taking a “special interest” in him when he had complained against 20 judges. “I am not willing to undergo any medical treatment. Who is the Supreme Court to judge that I have a ‘mental illness?’” he said, accusing the bench looking into his case of being corrupt. “People against me are using this medical test as a shortcut to avoid conviction under the SC/ST Act,” he told CNN-News18.
In reaction, Karnan also demanded that a psychological test be done on Chief Justice JS Khehar six other judges at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi and a report regarding the same be submitted to him on or before May 7, reported Hindustan Times. “If the DGP or any doctor tries to force me to face a test I will order their suspension and make them co-accused in this case,” he said.
On Friday, Justice Karnan, who has maintained that the judges have been discriminating against him because he is part of the Dalit community, had asked the Air Control Authority in New Delhi to not allow Chief Justice JS Khehar and the six other Supreme Court judges hearing his case to travel outside the country.
On April 13, he had summoned them to his “residential court” on April 28. Karnan had alleged that the seven judges had insulted him in open court when they had questioned his mental health during a hearing on March 31.