Karnan J ‘reposts’ hearing of SC judges to May 1, adds Banumathi J to list

Karnan J ‘reposts’ hearing of SC judges to May 1, adds Banumathi J to list

Aditya AK

Things having not played out quite how he would have liked, Justice CS Karnan has now passed another “order” from his residence.

Initially scheduled for today, the “hearing” of the seven senior-most judges of the Supreme Court has now been “reposted” for May 1. The “order” passed today states,

“Today, the above mentioned accused 1 to 8 are called absent, hence this matter is reposted to May 1 to enable their reappearance.”

Karnan J now seems to have a bone to pick with Justice Banumathi, having added her name to the list of “accused” judges. The reason?

“The first (CJI Khehar) and the eighth accused have passed an identical order on February 15, 2016, without procedure according to law and restrained my judicial and administrative assignments at the Madras High Court. Therefore, the 8th accused impleaded as a necessary party/accused in the common judicial order. The advance notice already sent to the 8th accused namely, Justice R Banumathy.”

A couple of weeks back, the beleaguered judge passed an “order” directing Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur, PC Ghose and Kurian Joseph to his Rosedale Residential Court answer as to why they should not be declared guilty of violating the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Atrocities) Act.

In that order, he also appealed to foreign countries not to issue visas permitting the entry of the seven judges and had directed the Airports Authority of India to not allow these seven judges to travel abroad. He has also ordered that the judges must surrender their passports to the Director General of the Delhi Police within 15 days.

In today’s order, the judge again directed the Air Control Authority to prevent the judges from traveling abroad as they might “spread the virus of caste discrimination”.

The Calcutta High Court judge has been suspended from his administrative and judicial duties, and has a contempt case pending against him in the Supreme Court. On the last date of hearing on March 31, he was given four weeks to file his written submissions.

With four weeks having passed, Karnan J might have to come face to face with the judges soon, just not under the circumstances he hoped for. Of course, the apex court judges may take a lenient view to Karnan J’s indiscretions and wait for his retirement on June 12 this year. But given the Court’s history of dealing with contempt cases, that is not very likely.

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