Supreme court asks Karnan to respond on contempt notice

he Supreme Court on Friday asked Calcutta High Court judge Justice C.S. Karnan to respond to the contempt notice issued to him in a suo motu hearing of the matter.

A seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar gave Justice Karnan four weeks time to respond to the notice issued to him in January.

At the outset of the hearing, Khehar asked Karnan if he wanted to reiterate the allegations he had made against 20 judges or think about it or offer an unconditional apology.

“We are asking you again and again. Do you say that you stand by whatever you have written or want to think about it, we will give you the time,” the bench told Karnan as he appeared before the court, after non-bailable warrants were issued against him in the last hearing.

As the court asked Karnan to respond in the four weeks time, he said that his judicial and administrative work should be restored only then he would be in a position to respond to the contempt notice.

As the bench refused to accede to his plea for the restoration of his functions, Karnan said that the court could record his statement that he would not appear for the next hearing, he can be punished right away and sent to jail.

As Karnan said that he was not in a state of mind to respond to the contempt notice, the bench said: “If you feel that you are not in a mental state to respond, you give a medical certificate.”

At one point in the course of the hearing, when the bench observed that Karnan was not clear and was not able to comprehend as to what he was doing, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that there was no questions of non-comprehension.

Rohatgi said: “I don’t think this is a case of un-intention. It is a case of re-affirmation (of the allegations). You go on naming the judges, asking for inquiry. He is damning the judges. Has damned the judiciary.”