The Supreme Court has ordered to set up a team of doctors to conduct a medical examination of Justice CS Karnan of the Calcutta High Court to determine if he is fit to defend himself.
A medical board will examine Justice Karnan on May 4 and submit its report to the court on May 8. The apex court has asked the West Bengal Director General of Police to form a team to assist the board in the medical test.
The Supreme Court also ordered that no court, tribunal or commission should take cognizance of any order passed by Justice Karnan after the contempt proceedings started against him.
The seven-judge bench of the apex court was hearing the suo motu contempt petition against Justice Karnan, who skipped appearance on Monday. The proceedings against Justice Karnan, the first ever against a sitting judge, were initiated after he wrote public letters accusing members of the higher judiciary of corruption.
During the hearing on Monday, Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi said the court should take action against Justice Karnan. “The court has given ample opportunities. Every day, he says or does something; the court cannot keep giving him opportunities. He has shown that he does not care. This is completely unacceptable,” said Rohatgi.
The judiciary cannot become a “laughing stock” and the court has been more than patient and it is now time to take action, the Attorney General said.
Senior Advocate KK Venugopal said that by reading the orders passed by Justice Karnan after contempt proceedings were initiated against him makes it clear that “he is not in a position to decide things objectively”.
The apex court will next hear the case on May 18.