The Supreme Court has on Monday remarked that it was ‘unfortunate’ that the former judge of Madras and Calcutta High Courts, C S Karnan has forcibly tried to enter the Chennai residence of the retired judge of top court, Justice R Banumathi.
The three-judge bench comprising of Justices AM Khanwilker, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna while hearing a petition filed by Delhi Tamil Advocates Association seeking action against Karnan for his conduct, the bench asked the petitioner to file representation and complaints before the appropriate authority under law for action against the concerned judge and removal of the objectionable video from the internet.
Senior Advocate CA Sundaram, however, sought time to amend the petition to include certain provisions of the Information Technology Act 2000. The court granted the same and adjourned the hearing by three weeks.
Justice Karnan is a former judge of Madras High Court. He was transferred to Kolkata High Court after allegations of corruption against him arose in the public domain. Justice Karnan however passed a stay order on his transfer. He alleged caste discriminations by fellow judges and issued an arrest warrant against Supreme Court judges. In May 2017, he became the first sitting judge to be convicted of contempt of court and spent six months in jail for the same.
Women lawyers of Chennai Bar have also written to the Chief Justice of India demanding swift action against Justice Karnan for his misogynistic comments. In the video, Justice Karnan also alleges sexual assault of female court staff members by judges of the Supreme Court and High Court all the while naming them along with their designation, thus, leaving no doubt about their identities. Therefore, this conduct of Justice Karnan violates the law that bars revelations of victim identities.
“The video and its contents are outrageous, reprehensible, and constitute offenses. What is worse is naming the alleged victims, an act prohibited by law, a fact that a judge should surely know,” stated the complaint sent by V Vaigai, Senior Advocate, and nine others.
Advocate S Devika, one of the signatories to the letter, has reported the video to YouTube and also filed a complaint with the Cyber Crime Cell, who are few of the appropriate authorities in this case.