The Supreme Court on Monday rebuked Justice CS Karnan for “wasting its time” by filing repeated appeal petitions against his arrest order in a contempt of court case. Karnan’s lawyer Mathews Nedumpara had moved the Supreme Court on Friday asking for the order, which included a six-month jail term, to be stayed.
Chief Justice of India JS Khehar told Nedumpara, “We won’t allow you to stop court proceedings like this, you have been doing it repeatedly.” He added that the court would hear the original plea on the scheduled date.
On Friday, Nedumpara had claimed Karnan had tried to issue an unconditional apology over his dispute with the Supreme Court, but that the apex court’s registry staff did not allow him to do so.
On Thursday, Karnan’s lawyer had told the Supreme Court that the judge was “very much in Chennai” after a police team deployed to arrest him was not able to find him, PTI reported. A five-judge bench had also agreed to consider Karnan’s plea seeking relief in the contempt of court case.
The tussle between Karnan and his colleagues has been on for months now. The Calcutta High Court judge had accused several judges in High Courts and the Supreme Court of discriminating against him because he is a Dalit, after which the top court had ordered a medical test to be conducted on him to ascertain if he was mentally sound. He will retire in June.
Karnan had been issued a contempt notice on February 9 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 61-year-old High Court judge was not in a clear state of mind. It had issued a bailable warrant against him on March 10.