The Supreme Court released contempt notice to Calcutta High Court judge CS Karnan for writing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging corruption charges against 20 sitting and retired judges of the apex and high courts, legal experts have thought that the complete episode raises a question mark on the selection of judges.
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) welcomed the top court’s initiative against Justice Karnan, earlier judge of Madras High Court, but said the bar implicated should be consulted by the collegium at the time of selection of judges.
Senior lawyer Vikas Singh told Live Law: “This is a clear revealing of flaw of the collegium system. Although I am in support of the system, I feel judges are not taking their job seriously.” “The apex court has to exercise its power to keep such judges who have been bringing discredit to the institution,” Singh said.
Another senior lawyer Mahalakshmi Pavani said: “looking into the implication of the judge, this court should have initiated action against him much before. He has been tarnishing the judiciary, which cannot be taken lightly.” the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president RS Suri said the lawyers’ body welcomed the step taken by the court.
“After this episode at least, the collegium should consult the bar concerned as the union can give right input about a person before his elevation to bench,” he said. On 8th February, a seven-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, issued contempt notice to Justice Karnan and directed him to appear in person to represent his act on 13th February.
The bench also stripped him of his judicial as well as administrative power. Earlier, Justice Karnan courted tilt for offending his fellow colleagues when he was a judge in Madras HC.
Chief Justice of India TS Thakur had notified him, following which Justice Karnan had also tendered an excuse to the CJI. He was then transferred to Calcutta High Court. He had written the controversial letter to the Prime Minister.
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