The Supreme Court on Monday said any administrative or judicial order passed by Justice C.S. Karnan after his transfer to the Calcutta High Court will stand stayed unless the Madras high court chief justice specially assigns him any matter.
“The operation of all or any administrative/judicial order(s) passed by Justice C.S. Karnan, after the issuance of the proposal of his transfer from the Madras High Court dated February 12 (unless specially assigned to him by the chief justice), shall remain stayed till further orders,” said an apex court bench comprising Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice R. Banumathi.
This effectively means a stay on Justice Karnan’s order through which he stayed his own transfer to the Calcutta High Court, which was earlier issued by Chief Justice of India Justice T.S. Thakur on February 12.
Justice Karnan, while staying his transfers order, issued notice to the Chief Justice of India, returnable on February 29.
Noting the submissions by senior counsel K.K. Venugopal who appeared for B. Hari – the Madras High Court registrar-cum-private secretary to Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul – the apex court order said: “Having taken note of the situation, in our view, it would be appropriate that Justice C.S. Karnan should hear and dispose of only such matters as are specially assigned to him by the chief justice of the Madras high court.”
“It will be open to the chief justice of the high court not to assign any further administrative/judicial work to him,” the Supreme Court said.
It said it would imply “that no other orders shall be passed by Justice C.S. Karnan, suo motu or otherwise, in any matter not specially assigned to him”.
The apex court order came on an application by B. Hari that pointed out that Justice Karnan had questioned him for the issuance of his transfer order and using language short on politeness.
Venugopal said not only did Justice Karnan question Hari on the transfer letter, but also used language that was not courteous.
Asking the high court registrar general to furnish a copy its order to Justice Karnan, the apex court said: “It shall be open to the judge (Justice Karnan) to enter appearance before this court, in case he is so advised (in respect of the instant/pending matter).”
Justice Karnan is at loggerhead with the Madras high court chief justice on a number of issues and earlier threatened to move the Scheduled Castes Commission alleging harassment by him (Justice Kaul).