Justice Karnan’s Letter to CJI, says Collegium system is “autocratic” and “Undemocratic”

Justice Karnan’s Letter to CJI, says Collegium system is “autocratic” and “Undemocratic”

Adding to the controversies he had already set ablaze, Justice Karnan of Madras High Court wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of India criticizing the Collegium system. The Judge who has been in news after threatening his own Chief Justice with contempt of court proceedings, now called the Collegium system as “undemocratic” and “autocratic” in the letter.

The Collegium system, according to Justice karnan, “acted on its own views or whims and fancies to say the least" which “disturbs” both his mind and “Judicial work”. In the letter, he praised the government’s move to constitute the National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) and said that is “most appropriate for the functioning of the judiciary in an unfettered manner and to render justice." Calling certain judicial appointments made by the Madras High Court as “unfair”, the Judge had earlier spoken against the HC collegium system of selecting judges.

Justice Karnan, also made reference to certain reports which quoted submissions made by Attorney-General Mukul Rohtagi in NJAC hearing, regarding lack of decorum and discipline within judiciary. The Judge clarified that “Referring to the current news publication, inference is drawn on my issuing a contempt of court while addressing My Lord, the Chief Justice of Madras High Court. The fact of the matter is that I did so only to protect the dignity and solemnity of the said court”.

Copies of the letter which has been sent to the President, the Prime Minister, the Union Law Minister and the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, is of significance at this juncture as the constitutionality of NJAC is under consideration in the Apex court.