The Supreme Court on Monday said that it was “unfortunate” that former High Court judge Justice CS Karnan forcibly tried to enter the house of retired Supreme Court judge Justice R Banumathi in Chennai, Live Law reported.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar told advocate CA Sundaram “to take all appropriate actions, including filing representation and complaint”.
Sundaram was representing a group of practicing advocates of the Madras High Court, who had written to the Chief Justice of India against Justice Karnan regarding a video where he can be seen trying to enter Justice Banumathi’s house.
The lawyers said that Karnan can be seen in the video making a statement that “he had already threatened to sexually assault the wives of 13 former and present Supreme Court judges and a retired woman judge of the Supreme Court”, Bar and Bench quoted from the letter. The retired judge has also been accused of revealing the identity of those who he claimed were sexually abused and harassed by Supreme Court and High Court judges. These include women court staff and lawyers .
“There are newspaper reports that he tried to force his way into the house of Justice Banumathi,” Sundaram submitted while appearing for the advocates.
The Supreme Court asked the advocates to approach proper authorities for getting the video removed, reported News18. However, on the matter of Justice Karnan trying to enter Justice Banumathi’s residence, it asked the petitioners to take action. The bench adjourned the matter for three weeks, asking the petitioners to exercise all remedies available to them under the law in the meantime, according to Live Law.
In May 2017, Justice Karnan became the first sitting High Court judge to be held guilty of criminal contempt of court. A constitution bench of the Supreme Court sentenced him to six months imprisonment. After the sentence, he went into hiding. He was arrested a month later and was sent to Presidency Jail in Kolkata, where he underwent imprisonment till December 2017.