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SC Defers Contempt Hearing as Justice Karnan Fails to Appear

Calcutta HC judge C S Karnan fails to appear in Supreme Court on Monday in connection with suo motu contempt proceedings.

Ashok Bagriya | CNN-News18

Updated:February 13, 2017, 1:35 PM IST
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SC Defers Contempt Hearing as Justice Karnan Fails to Appear
File photo of Supreme Court and image of Justice CS Karnan (inset).

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday deferred for three weeks a hearing on contempt proceedings against Calcutta High Court judge Justice C.S. Karnan as he did not appear before the court as directed.

A seven-judge constitution bench said that the next hearing will be held on March 10.

"We are not aware of reasons for his non-appearance. We, therefore, refrain from proceeding with the matter," the SC bench said.

SC takes on record letter written by Justice Karnan to Registrar General of apex court in which he alleged victimisation for being a Dalit.

On February 11, Karnan has played the Dalit card in connection with the contempt proceedings and asked the SC to refer the matter to Parliament, contending it was "not sustainable".

Justice Karnan wrote a strongly worded letter addressed to Registrar General of the apex court on receiving the February 8 order of the seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar asking him to appear in person before it on February 13 to explain as to why contempt proceedings be not initiated against him.

"Before obtaining any explanation from me, I wish to state that the Courts have no power to enforce punishment against a sitting judge of the High Court. The said order does not confirm to logic, therefore it is not suitable for execution," he had said.

The apex court had earlier issued him the show cause notice for today and forthwith restrained him from undertaking judicial and administrative work.

"Issue notice to Justice C S Karnan. Returnable on February 13. Shree Justice C S Karnan shall forthwith refrain from handling any judicial or administrative work as may have been assigned to him," the court had said.

Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi had referred to the nature of public communications allegedly undertaken by Justice Karnan and said they are "slanderous" and

"disparaging" to the system of administration of justice. The AG had referred to constitutional provisions and said that the apex court can take judicial note of the matter and is empowered to pass such an order.

(With PTI inputs)

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| Edited by: Sujit Nath
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