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‘Avoid ego and stop acting in an autocratic manner’- High Court Judge tells his Chief Justice

May,1,2015: Several damning observations were made by Justice CS Karnan of the Madras High Court.

Justice CS Karnan
Justice CS Karnan

After Justice Karnan  passed an injuction order in a suo motu petition, thereby staying the interviews for selection of Civil Judge (Junior Division),  a Division Bench of the Madras High Court, stayed the Single Judge's order while observing that “administrative control of the High Court is vested only with the Chief Justice and it is the prerogative of the Chief Justice to distribute business of the High Court, both judicial and administrative.” 

The Division Bench was of the view that the power to take suo motu cognizance in a PIL matter can be exercised by no Judge but the Chief Justice of the High Court. Also meanwhile the Chief Justice Sanjay Kishen Kaul directed the Registry to not to list the suo motu petition before Justice Karnan.

On this Justice Karnan observed that the order of Chief Justice directing the Registry not to list his suo motu Writ Petition before him is an administrative order of the Chief Justice which “runs against the Judicial Order of the court" and is “against law and justice and National Welfare”. Justice Karnan further directed the Registry to list his suo motu Writ Petition before him while setting aside the administrative order passed by the Chief Justice.

As against the stay order of the Division Bench, Justice Karnan yet again initiated suo motu proceedings and made highly controversial observations-

“This Court further requests My Lord The Hon’ble Chief Justice to extend your co-operation without any interference with my Court’s proceedings and its Judicial Power in order to maintain the decorum of the Court and avoid an unhealthy practice of Judiciary in the interest of the general public. My deep request to My Lord The Hon’ble Chief Justice is to avoid ego and stop acting in an autocratic manner to protect democracy,”

Justice Karnan further requested his Chief Justice to not to “interfere” in the suo motu case, failing which, his Court will initiate contempt of Court Proceedings against the Chief Justice of the High Court. Justice Karnan posted the matter before himself for 10.06.2015.

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