A Seven Judge Constitution Bench of Supreme Court of India on Monday ordered the medical examination of Justice Karnan, who is facing contempt proceedings. The Bench has found that he is not in a position to defend himself now.
The Bench has directed DGP, West Bengal to constitute a team of police personnel to get examination conducted. The Medical Board has to submit report by 8th May.
The bench was particularly angry over two recent "judicial orders" passed by Justice Karnan (when he was restrained from issuing judicial or administrative orders)summoning the judges of seven judge bench and directing the Air Control Authority not to allow the SC judges in the bench from travelling abroad.
"This is in complete violation of our order" Chief justice J S Khehar said adding it was more serious than his earlier letters leveling corruption charges.
The Bench has also directed all Courts and other authorities not to take cognizance of any orders passed by Justice Karnan after 8.2.2017.
"While issuing notice against Justice C S Karnan on 8.2.2017 this court had directed that he would forthwith be restrained from passing any administrative or judicial orders.He was directed to return all files to Registrar General of the High Court."
"Ever since initiation of proceedings Justice Karnan has been making press statements. After the last date of hearing on 31.3.2017 also he passed some judicial orders which has been received by this court.In order to ensure no court, tribunal or authority takes cognizance of orders passed by Justice Karnan, we restrain all courts tribunal authorities from acting on his orders"
"The press briefing and the orders issued by him indicate that he may not be in a position to defend himself. Therefore we consider in the fitness of matter that he may be medically examined by a medical board of a government hospital"
CONTROVERSIAL TWISTS AND TURNS TILL NOW
Besides writing to the PM seeking a probe against corrupt HC and SC judges, Justice Karnan, who is known for his maverick ways, had earlier controversially opposed the decision of the Collegium to transfer him to Calcutta from Madras and had himself stayed the order.
This was in February last year, when he had allegedly shouted at the Registrar cum Personal Secretary of Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul (now a SC judge) and also proceeded to suo moto take up (on the judicial side) his own transfer order.
The Supreme Court had then directed the Chief Justice of the High Court not assign any further judicial work to Justice Karnan on account of his transfer.
In between senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani wrote a scathing letter to justice Karnan calling him a “lunatic”, wondering if he was “mentally sound to discharge his duties as a judge” and asking him to pray for pardon for every “stupid action” he has so far indulged in.
Read the Order here.