The Supreme Court on Friday issued a bailable arrest warrant against justice C.S. Karnan, a sitting judge of the Calcutta high court, after he failed to personally appear before the apex court for the second time in a contempt case against him.
A seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) J.S. Khehar had earlier extended the deadline for Karnan to make an appearance. “Warrants will be served by the Director General of Police concerned and will be bailable at Rs10,000,” the court said.
It is the first time that the apex court has served warrants or initiated a case of contempt of court against a sitting judge.
The court had taken suo moto cognizance of Karnan’s alleged misconduct while he was serving as a judge in the Madras high court. He was subsequently transferred to the Calcutta high court.
Justice Karnan had written to various dignitaries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the CJI, the Union law minister and various sitting judges across high courts, alleging corruption against several sitting and retired judges in the country.
On 13 February, Karnan in a written reply to the apex court made allegations of caste bias against him by the seniormost judges of the apex court.
The apex court is also hearing another case against justice Karnan related to his transfer from the Madras high court to the Calcutta high court. At the last hearing, he had been allowed to appear in person for the proceedings.
The case will be heard next on 31 March.