New delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said a “conscious decision” was taken by seven of its judges to sentence Calcutta High Court judge Justice C S Karnan to six months imprisonment by holding him guilty of contempt.
“The seven judges assembled to take a conscious decision,” a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said.
The CJI made the remarks while he was sitting with four other judges who were hearing the issue of triple talaq.
He made the statement when advocate Mathews J Nedumpara, on behalf of Justice Karnan, mentioned the plea for recall of the May 9 order when the bench had come to the dias after lunch to hear the triple talaq matter.
The CJI told the advocate that the bench was hearing a different matter and he should not make a mention but address his grievances before the registry. “We are in a different bench,” Justice Khehar said.
However, the advocate said, “I am addressing the CJI only” and added that the plea related to suspension of sentence of Justice Karnan.
The CJI shot back “why you are coming here everytime? Go and give it (original copy of petition) to the registry. You are not accepting any one-off procedure. You are only putting your ‘danda’ (stick) here. It does not work here”.
After this observation, the advocate withdrew himself as the bench resumed the post-lunch hearing on triple talaq.
However, after the day’s hearing, the counsel made another attempt to draw the attention of the bench, which left the dias without giving him audience.
Nedumpara had also mentioned the matter earlier when the bench was about to rise for the lunch break. He had asked the bench when would his matter would be listed for hearing.
The CJI said “you had said registry was not accepting it (plea). We have sent it to the registry … You cannot keep on handing over papers to us. You give it to the registry. There are norms.”
Justice Karnan had yesterday moved the apex court seeking recall of the order holding him guilty of contempt of court and sentencing him to a six-month jail term.
The seven-judge bench of the apex court had on May 9 passed the order sentencing Karnan to jail by holding him guilty of contempt of court and sentencing him to six months imprisonment, a day after he defiantly ordered eight apex court judges to be put behind bars.
It had also ordered the West Bengal police to take him into custody forthwith.
However, before the apex court had pronounced the order, Justice Karnan had left Kolkata and was reported to be staying in Chennai. The West Bengal police is yet to arrest him.
Justice Karnan, who has been on a warpath with the Supreme Court for last several months, is the first sitting judge of a high court to be sentenced. He is due to retire next month.