Justice C S Karnan sentences 5-year imprisonment for CJI, 7 Supreme Court judges
5-year imprisonment for CJI
The faceoff between Calcutta High Court judge Justice CS Karnan and the panel of Supreme Court judges led by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar turned murkier on Monday, with the former sentencing the CJI and seven other SC judges to five years of imprisonment, along with a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
The order was issued by Justice Karnan from his residence in eastern Kolkata, which he also calls as his ‘home court’. The order, directed to the Commissioner of Delhi Police, states that the CJI and seven SC judges – Justices Dipak Mishra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur, Pinaki Chandra Ghose, Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi, were found guilty of caste discrimination, conspiracy, harassment.
Quashing the contempt case being heard against him by the Supreme Court panel comprising of the above mentioned judges, Justice Karnan said the suo motu contempt petition was taken up “because I am a Dalit”. He further added that the SC-led panel had the intention of humiliating him and restraining his administrative and judicial reach.
Justice Karnan, in his order, has instructed the “guilty judges” to submit the amount of fine within a week to the National Commission for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. If the fine is not submitted, then the jail term would be increased to six years, as per his order.
The 12 page suo motu order was issued by Justice Karnan a couple of days after Supreme Court sent a team of medical doctors to assure whether he is mentally stable. However, the judge refrained from getting himself examined, accusing the apex court of humiliating him.
The confrontation between Justice Karnan and the Supreme Court dates back to January 2017, when the former had sent a list of 20 SC judges to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing them of being involved in corruption. Irked by the allegations levelled against sitting SC judges, the apex court took a suo motu contempt petition against him.
Although Justice Karnan appeared once before the panel led by CJI to answer the contempt proceedings, he later demanded the apex court judges to be summoned at his premises in Kolkata. In response to the contempt case against him, the embattled judge filed a defamation case against the CJI-led panel, seeking Rs 14 crore in compensation.