A group of advocates practising in the Madras High Court has submitted a complaint before the Chief Justice of India against C S Karnanan, former High Court judge, over a video containing objectionable remarks.
As per the complaint, C.S.Karnan is seen in a video which has been in circulation on social media in which he is making sexually objectionable remarks against judges and women related to them.
"The video and its contents are outrageous, reprehensible and constitute offences. What is worse is naming the alleged victims, an act prohibited by law, a fact that a judge should surely know", states the complaint sent by V Vaigai, Senior Advocate and nine others.
The complainants state that the comments of the ex-judge "amount to a horrific act of violence and an affront to the dignity of all women".
"His statements reveal a deeprooted misogyny and is an assertion of patriarchal construction of gender and sexuality, where women are considered as private property of men", states the complaint.
Advocates Sudha Ramalingam, Anna Mathew, Geeta Ramaseshan, Nagasaila, D.Geeta, S.Devika, Akila R.S, N.S.Tanvi and Nivedita Menon are the other complainants.
The complainants urge the CJI to "take urgent steps to immediately stop and prevent circulation of Mr.Karnan's video containing offensive remarks against women and the judiciary".
"The issue should be dealt with firmly and we request that stringent action be taken against Mr.Karnan, including action for criminal prosecution. Further, it appears that the video has been recorded and is being circulated on WhatsApp by certain third parties. All of them involved in the recording, uploading and circulation of the video ought to be prosecuted. If any of them happen to be lawyers, the judiciary should proceed against them on the judicial side", they state.
In May 2017, C S Karnan became the first sitting High Court judge to be held guilty of criminal contempt of court. A constitution bench of the Supreme Court sentenced him to six months imprisonment for his multiple acts of public utterances against judges. As a judge, Karnan had also done extraordinary acts like passing a judicial order to stay his own transfer and issuing arrest warrant against Supreme Court judges.
After the sentence, he went into hiding. He was arrested a month later and was sent to Presidency Jail in Kolkata, where he underwent imprisonment till December 2017.