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In an unprecedented order, the Supreme Court today sentenced sitting Calcutta High Court judge, Justice CS Karnan to six months’ imprisonment for contempt of court.
A 7-judge Bench of Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur, PC Ghose and Kurian Joseph today heard ASG Maninder Singh and SCBA President RS Suri, both of whom pressed for action against the sitting judge.
The Court held,
“We are of the unanimous view that Justice Karnan is in contempt of this court and of judiciary and judicial process of grievous nature. We are satisfied in punishing him for contempt of court.
We sentence him to imprisonment for six months. The sentence shall be executed forthwith.”
When Senior Advocate KK Venugopal asked whether the court should consider punishing a sitting judge of a High Court, CJI Khehar responded that the Court cannot make such distinctions when punishing for contempt.
“Before us, there is no judge or private party or public party. He is a citizen of India, if he is guilty he should be punished”.
The Court also proceeded to refrain electronic and print media from publishing any statement made by him.
The sitting Calcutta High Court judge has been continuing his vendetta against the seven apex court judges over past few weeks passing a slew of “orders” from his residence.
On the last date of hearing, the apex court had directed a medical evaluation of the Karnan J, which he promptly refused.