Madras HC judge CS Karnan to appear in Supreme Court and argue against his transfer
Sitting high court judge, CS Karnan has written to the Supreme Court and will appear next month to argue against the collegium’s mandate to transfer him. According to The Indian Express, the judge was asked by the high court to vacate is official bungalow in Chennai in order to accommodate a newly appointed judge and that Karnan should return 12 files that are in his possession.
In February 2016, Karnan did not accept the collegium’s proposal to transfer him out of the Madras High Court. According to the report, he “suo motu ‘stayed’ his transfer order, issued by then Chief Justice of India TS Thakur on 12 February.
Judicial and administrative work from Karnan was withdrawn but the Supreme Court allowed him to contest the transfer petition. This is the first time that a sitting judge is contesting such orders.
According to an editorial published in The Hindu, The curious case of Justice Karnan, 21 judges in the High Court signed a petition of complaint against Karnan because of his offensive interaction with the judges. The Supreme Court condemned Justice Karnan’s conduct as “uncharitable and ungenerous, and … indecorous,” according to the editiorial which questions as to why such a long rope has been given to Karnan.
According to The Economic Times, Karnan shortly after writing the letter to the then CJI, claimed in another letter, he was mentally unstable because of alleged caste bias against him in the High Court. The report elaborates on Karnan’s claims about two disturbing incidents — one that involved him being kicked by another judge and the other incident was how a judge “silently ridiculed” him.
In that letter, Karnan said: “Hereinafter I will continue to foster a harmonious attitude to one and all and will appreciate your (CJI’s) kind reciprocation,” as quoted in a Deccan Chronicle report which added that he sent copies of the letter to the Prime Minister, President of India, Union Law Minister and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.