On April 13, Justice Karnan had issued an “order” for registration of a case under appropriate sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, against CJI J S Khehar and six other judges of the Supreme Court — Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur, Pinaki C Ghose and Kurian Joseph. He had summoned the seven SC judges to appear before him at his residential court in Kolkata on April 28.
CJI Khehar and the six other judges had earlier initiated contempt proceedings against Justice Karnan and summoned him to appear before them on March 31. The seven-judge constitution bench had earlier issued a bailable arrest warrant against Justice Karnan.
During the hearing on March 31, the SC bench disclosed that Justice Karnan had in a letter on March 27 indicated his willingness to withdraw the complaint he sent to the PM and the CJI levelling corruption charges against 20 sitting and retired judges of the SC and HC and apologise unconditionally. However, appearing before the SC bench, Justice Karnan said he would apologise only if the SC restored his judicial and administrative work, a pre-condition that the apex court rejected. The SC asked him to file his reply affidavit to the contempt charges in four weeks and directed him to remain present in court on May 1, the next date of hearing.
Justice Karnan’s latest order, a copy of which was provided to TOI, indicated that since the eight judges he had summoned to his court were “absent”, the matter was being reposted to May 1 — the very day that the SC has asked him to be present — to enable their reappearance.