Calcutta HC’s justice Karnan orders 5-year jail term, fine for CJI and 7 SC judges

Calcutta high court judge C S Karnan Monday evening ordered five-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of rupees one lakh each for Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and seven other judges of the Supreme Court as “punishment for offences punishable under the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Atrocities Act 1989 and Amended Act of 2015.”

If the judges failed to pay the fine, they would have to serve jail sentence for six more months.

Stating that “the judges had shown caste discrimination and hence had no locus standi to continue as Supreme Court judges, the order said that the fine amount has to be paid within a week to the National Commission, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Constitutional body, at Khan Market, New Delhi.”

The order directed the Commissioner of Delhi Police to execute the order. “The accused are at liberty to approach Parliament,” it added.

The order further added that since the compensation of Rs 14 crore had not yet been paid to the victim judge (C S Karnan) the registrar general of the Supreme Court has to recover the sum from the salary of “each of the accused and remit the same to my account.”

The judge, in his earlier orders, had said that the CJI and other judges of the seven-member bench had insulted and humiliated him because he was a Dalit. He had criticised the suo motu contempt petition against him and orders that restrained his administrative and judicial work.

On Monday, Justice Karnan passed the suo-motu 12-page order at his residence at New Town in the eastern fringe of Kolkata. It held CJI and justices Dipak Mishra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur, Pinaki Chandra Ghose, Kurian Joseph and Justice Mrs R Bhanumathi as “accused”. The last judge, however, is not part of the seven-member bench that passed orders against Karnan in the contempt petition on February 8, 2017.

On May 4, a defiant justice Karnan refused to be examined by a four-member team of psychiatrists who arrived at his to execute a Supreme Court order.

The doctors from the Calcutta Pavlov Hospital for Mental Patients, who were accompanied by police officers, stayed at the judge’s residence for about an hour. None of them spoke to the media when they finally emerged at 2 pm.

The order for Justice Karnan’s check-up was passed by the seven-member Supreme Court bench headed by the CJI.

On May 2, justice Karnan ordered issuance of non-bailable warrants against the seven judges of the Supreme Court for not being represented before him. He had issued an order on April 13 asking the seven judges to appear before him on 28 April and then extended the date of appearance to 1 May.


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