Even as Calcutta high court judge justice CS Karnan on Monday failed to appear before the Supreme Court in a contempt case, more trouble spelled for him after wife of a sitting Madras high court judge accused him of harassing their family and leveling false allegations against her husband.
She has filed a formal application in the top court seeking protection.
As neither Karnan nor his lawyer appeared before the court, the seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar was forced to defer proceedings in the case by three weeks.
“We are not aware of reasons for his non-appearance. We, therefore, refrain from proceeding with the matter,” the court said, indicating it would not hesitate in issuing a warrant against him if he does not appear on March 10, the next date of hearing.
“We have only two options before us and they are either to hear him or issue bailable and non-bailable warrants. At this juncture, we want to hear him,” the bench told attorney general Mukul Rohatgi who insisted the court must frame a charge against Justice Karnan.
“We do not want to do that now. We have some questions for him and want his response,” the bench said.
It officially barred any lawyer or busybody, who is not authorized by Justice Karnan to argue, to “disrupt” the proceedings.
A violation of the order would invite the court’s displeasure and the lawyer shall be proceeded against in accordance with law, it warned.
Meanwhile, the application moved by the HC judge’s wife alleged that Justice Karnan has been harassing the family by saying that she has lodged a complaint against her husband. He has also accused the fellow judge of raping a court staff in 2007, the application added.
In an unprecedented hearing, the SC had on February 8 issued a contempt notice against justice Karnan for alleged judicial indiscipline.
A letter by the judge to
the Prime Minister, law minister and the CJI accusing several sitting and retired judges of corruption prompted the SC action.
In response to the notice, justice Karnan two days later wrote to the top court’s registrar general alleging that he was being singled out by “upper caste judges” as he was a Dalit.