Defiant Calcutta high court judge justice C S Karnan on Friday directed the “Air Control Authority, New Delhi,” not to permit Chief Justice of India J S Khekar and seven other judges of the apex court to travel abroad.
Karnan, who is facing contempt charges and is barred from carrying out judicial and administrative duties, gave the suo moto order at his New Town residence in the eastern fringe of Kolkata.
The HC judge, who has so far passed four suo moto orders against the CJI and other SC judges, added to the list of the said accused the name of a woman judge, R Banumathy for the first time.
Karnan had imposed the ban on foreign travel of the SC judges in his earlier order passed on April 13. In the order he had asked them to appear before him at his New Town residence by April 24 for “violating” his rights as a Dalit and “humiliating” him in public.
In his order, he termed the seven SC judges “national offenders” and alleged they had shown caste prejudice and insulted him on March 31 by questioning about his mental health.
“Hence all the seven judges are offenders under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Atrocities Act,” said the nine-page signed order.
“The Hon’ble judges will appear before me at my Rosedale Residential Court and give me their views on the quantum of punishment for the violation…..,” he had said in the order.
In his two-page order passed on Friday, Karnan once again referred to the “caste discrimination,” and said none of the judges should be allowed to leave the country since they did not appear before him.
He extended the deadline for their personal appearance to May 1. Incidentally, on that day is also supposed to appear before the Supreme Court.
About the inclusion of the woman judge in the list of accused, Karnan wrote, the “first (the CJI) and the eighth (Justice R Banumathy) 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 eighth accused impleaded as a necessary party/accused in the common judicial order.”
During his last appearance before the seven-judge bench headed by the CJI, Karnan, he had said he would apologise in the contempt case only if the court restored his judicial and administrative work.
The SC did not accept this pre-condition and asked him to file his reply to the contempt charges within four weeks.
It also directed him to remain present in court on May 1. But he had told the court that he would not respond to the notice unless his judicial functions were restored.