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In a First, Supreme Court Issues Contempt Notice to HC Judge CS Karnan

File photo of the Supreme Court of India building. PTI

New Delhi: In the first move of its kind, the Supreme Court has issued a contempt notice to a sitting judge of the Calcutta High Court and taken away all his judicial and administrative powers.

A seven judge bench of the apex court initiated contempt proceedings against Justice CS Karnan.

Karnan wrote letters to the Prime Minister, Law Minister, Chief Justice of India, judges of SC and others levelling allegations of corruption against the Supreme Court and Madras High Court judges.

This is a significant as it is for the first time that SC has issued a show cause notice to a sitting judge of a HC and asked him to remain present in person to defend charges against him.

“Justice Karnan is also directed to return all judicial and administrative files in his possession to Registrar General of Calcutta HC,” the bench said.

We must be as careful as we can, the bench said, adding that it has to be established whether Justice Karnan wrote those communications.

SC has given Karnan time till February 13 to reply to the notice and that’s the next date of hearing in the case. The court has also asked it’s registry to furnish copy of the order to Justice Karnan during the course of the day.

Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi said that action must be taken against the judge as the letters written by him to authorities bring disrepute to the judicial system. He called it “slanderous” and “disparaging” to the system of administration of justice.