SUPREME COURT DECLINES EARLY HEARING OF JUSTICE CS KARNAN’S REVIEW PLEA

The Supreme Court declined to consider the plea for an immediate hearing on Calcutta High Court Justice CS Karnan’s review petition seeking stay of top court’s order sentencing him to undergo six months jail for its contempt.

Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, heading the five-judge bench hearing challenge to the validity of triple talaq, told Justice Karnan’s counsel Mathew J Nadumpara that they had permitted him to file whatever he wanted in the registry.

However, Chief Justice Khehar did not say anything on Nadumpara’s plea seeking an immediate hearing of the plea to stay the May 9 order sentencing Karnan to undergo imprisonment for criminal contempt.

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 and justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur, Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Kurian Joseph which 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.

As the Supreme Court is now on summer recess, it is quite unlikely that the seven-judge bench, which had sentenced Justice Karnan, would assemble to hear his plea for suspension of his sentence.

The seven-judge bench of the apex court had on May 9 passed the order sentencing Justice Karnan to jail by holding him guilty of contempt of court and sentencing him to six months’ imprisonment, a day after he defiantly ordered eight Supreme Court judges to be put behind bars.
It had also ordered West Bengal police to take him into custody immediately.

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