SC issues contempt notice to Calcutta HC judge CS Karnan

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A seven-judge Bench of the senior most judges of the Supreme Court, in an unprecedented move, issued contempt of court notice against sitting Calcutta HC judge C.S. Karnan.


For impeding justice administration and bringing discredit to the judicial institution of the country by writing scurrilous letters about sitting and retired judges.

The Bench, led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, ordered Justice Karnan to appear in person before it on February 13 to show cause to the court why contempt proceedings should not be taken against him.

The Bench directed Justice Karnan to forthwith refrain from undertaking any judicial or administrative work and return all his official files to the Calcutta HC Registry.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted before the Bench that the time has come for the highest judiciary to take cognisance of Justice Karnan’s alleged misconduct and protect the judiciary.

The Supreme Court as the apex judiciary is empowered under Articles 129 read with its extraordinary powers under Article 142 (2) to punish a member of the High Court and subordinate judiciary for contempt.

Chief Justice Khehar said the Supreme Court has never done this before and has to take every care before punishing a sitting judge. “We have to hear him and we have to hear everyone.

Contempt of court:

Contempt of court, often referred to simply as “contempt”, is the offence of being disobedient to or disrespectful towards a court of law and its officers in the form of behavior that opposes or defies the authority, justice, and dignity of the court. It manifests itself in willful disregard of or disrespect for the authority of a court of law, which is often behavior that is illegal because it does not obey or respect the rules of a law court.

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