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SC stays Madras HC Judge’s minacious order against his Chief Justice

May,11,2015: The bench posted the appeal filed by the Madras High Court registry against the order passed by Justice Karnan for hearing.

Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul
Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed an interim order passed by Madras High Court controversial judge Justice C.S. Karnan, allegedly undermining the authority of High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.

“There will be a stay of the interim order dated April 30, 2015, passed in a suo motu writ petition,” a bench headed by Chief Justice H.L. Dattu said on Justice Karnan’s order in a case relating to appointment of officers of lower judiciary.

“We restrain the judge who initiated the suo-motu proceedings relating to the suo motu writ petition pending before Madras High Court from either hearing or issuing any direction in the said writ petition,” the bench also comprising justices Arun Misra and Amitabha Roy said.

It further said that in all other matters connected with it, there shall not be any interference by any person or authority or judges in completing the process initiated by the High Court for selection and appointment of junior judicial officers in Tamil Nadu till disposal of the special leave petition.

The bench posted the appeal filed by the Madras High Court registry against the order passed by Justice Karnan for hearing after the vacation.

Senior advocate K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the High Court registry, said that “the conduct of this judge has brought great disrepute to the High Court by his so-called suo motu judicial order.”

Responding to his submission, the bench said, “We have seen the order and we are fully aware of the order.”

While Venugopal was seeking to mention some other plea, the bench said, “First you see the reaction and we will also know what will be the reaction.”

Justice Karnan had triggered a fresh row by threatening to file contempt of court proceedings against Justice Kaul.

He had also threatened to file a case against him under the provisions of the SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act

In two separate unsigned letters sent to Chief Justice Kaul, Justice Karnan threatened contempt of court proceedings against the Chief Justice and said he will ask the National Human Rights Commission to initiate proceedings against him under the SC/ST Atrocities (prevention) Act.

Justice Karnan stated in the letter that he was suo motu staying the administrative order of the Chief Justice with regard to selection of civil judges. In the letter dated April 16, he also found fault with the judges appointed by the Chief Justice.

On April 30, Justice Karnan again sent an unsigned letter to the Chief Justice stating that he will initiate contempt proceedings against the Chief Justice and proceed with proceedings under the ST/SC Atrocities Act.

The Madras High Court registry moved the Supreme Court seeking stay of the order passed by Justice Karnan.

In November 2011, Justice Karnan had created a flutter by alleging that fellow judges had humiliated him. He said Dalit judges were targeted and their reputation tarnished whenever they asserted their self—respect.

Justice Karnan had in January last year created a stir when he commented against the high court collegium over the selection of judges.

He had entered a court hall, where a division bench was hearing a PIL, questioning the process adopted for selection of 12 judges for the High Court, and said that the process was not fair.

In 2013, he had passed a ruling which had said that if a couple in the right legal age indulge in sexual gratification, it will be considered a valid marriage and they could be termed as husband and wife.


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