Supreme Court again refuses early hearing on C.S. Karnan's plea to stay sentence

Supreme Court again refuses early hearing on C.S. Karnan's plea to stay sentence
C.S.Karnan

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday again declined the plea by Calcutta High Court judge C.S.Karnan seeking the stay of its order sentencing him to six months imprisonment and hearing of his petition seeking review of May 9 order holding him guilty of contempt.

As counsel Mathew J. Nadumpara appearing for Justice Karnan on Monday morning mentioned the plea for an early hearing, the five judge bench headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar told him not to waste the court's time and said as and when its registry clears the petition (by Justice Karnan), a bench will be created to hear it.

However, when counsel Nadumpara again mentioned the matter soon after the court assembled after lunch break, the Chief Justice took exception to counsel repeatedly mentioning the matter.

"You mention one time, five times, ten times, fifty times, our answer will be the same. You are interfering with the process of the court ... We are liberal with you, we can be harsh with you," he told Nadumpara.

The plea for the stay of the sentence till the review plea is decided can only be considered by the seven judge bench of Chief Justice Khehar, Justice Dipak Misra, Justice J. Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Kurian Joseph which had passed the order.

Justice Ghose is retiring on May 27.

Seeking the recall of the May 9 order, Justice Karnan has sought stay of the order convicting him of criminal contempt of court and sentencing him to undergo imprisonment for six months till the final disposal of his review petition that was filed on Thursday.

The court by its May 9 order had directed the Director General of West Bengal Police to constitute teams for the execution of its order forthwith.

The Supreme Court initiated contempt proceedings against Justice Karnan on February 8 and restrained him from performing judicial and administrative work.

Justice Karnan had taken on the top judiciary after he wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing various judges and officers of the Madras High Court of corruption.

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