SC Order On Justice Karnan A Dangerous Precedent: Indira Jaising

Can contempt powers be used to circumvent the provisions of Article 124 read with Article 217 of the Constitution? Does the removal of judicial functions of a judge not amount to removal of a judge? Does sending a judge to prison not amount to removing him from performance of his duties of office?

The order in contempt sets a dangerous precedent where the Supreme Court can remove any judge of a high court or indeed of the Supreme Court in contempt powers and do indirectly what they cannot do directly.

Once the power is asserted, it can be exercised for any reason whatsoever.

The Supreme Court has no discipline jurisdiction over the high courts and their judges, as they are not subordinate to the Supreme Court in such matters.

The Parliament alone has the power to remove a judge. Nor can the conduct of a judge be discussed, except on a removal motion.

This is non-negotiable.

This is what mantains the independence of the judiciary.

Surely the Court could have sent a report to Parliament requesting a motion to be moved.

After all, the Attorney General with great conviction agreed that Justice Karman had committed misconduct, so what was the hurdle? Such a course was adopted before by Justice Balakrishnan in the case of Justice Sen of Calcutta.

True, Justice Karnan was due to retire in June.

For that, Mr. K.K.Venugopal had the perfect solution: leave him alone, till then justice would be served.

And as for the order to examine him for mental illness, its legality leaves much to be desired as no person can be medically examined without an informed consent.

Moreover, mental illness unfortunately carries still a stigma.

I do not support or approve of his conduct and behaviour, but may I ask why was he appointed in the first place? Who will take responsibility for that? Only questions, no answers.

Indira Jaising

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  • Dr Leo Rebello says:

    Indira Jaising’s comment is lopsided. And by asking a puerile question like: “…. but may I ask why was he appointed in the first place?…” Is she trying to imply that SC/ST Judges like Karnan are less competent than Upper Caste Judges? That means she does not even know who had recommended the name of Karnan to be appointed as Judge of the Madras High Court and Why.

    Indira Jaising should also remember that the First principle of law is that NO ONE IS ABOVE LAW. Secondly under Contempt of Courts Act even Judges can be prosecuted — that includes High Court and Supreme Court Judges too.

    But in this particular episode the SCI Judges have committed Contempt of the Court by gross abuse of power, along with other violations. As such the order passed by the CJI + 6 Judges is null and void. Because, if that is valid, then even Karnan’s Order of sentencing them to 5 years Jail and fine is also valid till decided otherwise by the President, because the same SCI Bench cannot deliberate on Karnan’s foolproof order. For High Court Judges have more power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India than the SCI under Article 32. Supreme Court basically is an Appeal Court and both SCI and High Court Judges are equal in status.

    Therefore, in this entire episode the Supreme Court of India has become a Joke Court of India.

    I have already sent a letter to the President and the two Governors under Article 72(1) and 161 of the Constitution of India to immediately put an end to this Hitlerziation of Justice vide Good Governance principle.

  • Jos Chiramel says:

    If rule of law is to be respected, the protectors of the rule of law must ABIDE by the rule of law, as otherwise the law itself will face contempt from law abiding citizens.

  • APP DHARMENDRASINH G. RANA says:

    I am in complete agreement with the opinion of learned Adv. Indira jaysing and congratulate her for raising voice in tune with the constitutional provision. Constitution does not allow SC to take any coercive step against HC Judge as he has an immunity for any of his official function to be protected. SC only can set aside his order by utilising its appeal Jurisdiction. Only Parliament can start motion for his removal. Lawyers of the nation are supposed to debate and opine in this controversial decision of Supreme court which is supported by AG.
    What SC can not do directly how it did it indirectly..?

  • DHARMENDRASINH GEMALSINH RANA says:

    I am in complete agreement with the opinion with learned Adv. Indira jaysing and congratulate her for raising voice tune with the constitutional provision. So called misconduct of Justice Karnan noway allows SC to take any coercive step against HC Judge as he has an immunity for any of his official function to be protected. Only Parliament can start motion for his removal. Lawyers of the nation are supposed to debate and opine in this controversial decision of Supreme court which is supported by AG.

  • DHARMENDRASINH GEMALSINH RANA says:

    I am in complete agreement with the opinion with learned Adv. Indira jaysing and congratulate her for raising voice tune with the constitutional provision. So called misconduct of Justice Karnan noway allow SC to take any coercive step against HC Judge as he has an immunity for any of his official function to be protected. Only Parliament can start motion for his removal. Layers of the nation are supposed to debate and opine in this controversial decision of Supreme court which is supported by AG.

  • M.RAJU sharma says:

    Iam very sorry to say where our country goes.lots of illegal activities, corruption,in our India.as per my knowledge first we each Indian citizen follows all the laws of india individually. Our Indian constitution is like triangle serious for EG. Judiciary,administrative and executives.here our systems depends each one there is interlock in our constitution. And it must amended our Indian constitution law .bcas nowadays our population and crimes are high in our country.so please try to amend our law as per the situations going on.

  • P.Jeswani says:

    This kind of infighting never imagined in judiciary.
    Although it was most common in Arvind Kejriwal vs Lt. Governor & centre.
    This reminds of upmanship in infight between Jyoti Basu & then Governor.

    But it is so common between children.

  • Aftab Siddique says:

    Correct it may b cause of constitunal crisis in fact apex court order is beyond their jurisdiction it is only a mockery of justice and battle of egoism.i do agree mam with u

  • dr k narayana says:

    after justice karnan’s episode one can understand judiosiory also in contervarsy . when we are living contervarcial sosity it reflects on every field . can any body says that judiosary is wholy cow ? this is the first time exposed it self .

  • Edrich Miranda says:

    Refer to Edrich Miranda on LinkedIn

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