May 16, 2017
Commanding respect and not demanding is the central virtue of Courts administering justice. Supreme Court of India, being the Apex Court of the land has a constitutional responsibility to set an example in cultivating such a virtue.
The method and the manner in which a sitting judge of Calcutta High Court Sri Justice C.S.Karnan has been convicted for contempt of Supreme Court and sentencedon May 9, 2017, to imprisonment for six months by a Seven Judges Bench of Supreme Court which includes Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and Hon’ble Sri. Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameshwar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur, Pinaki Chandra Ghose, and Kurian Joseph, raises questions of great public importance. Examination of these questions is necessary to preserve and promote the trust, faith, and confidence of the common people in the judiciary.
No matter what happens in the case further to the sentencing on May 9, 2017, the record of the case at Supreme Court as it exists up to and including May 9, 2017, requires examination to see if there is sufficient valid material before Supreme Court to justify issue of contempt of court notice and sentencing to imprisonment, and whether the orders passed by the seven judges bench are well reasoned and whether those orders are just and fair.
Constructive criticism of judgements and orders of courts is permissible without attributing motives to the judges. This established position in law is the foundation for venturing to analyse the orders and decisions of Supreme Court of India leading to the punishment of a sitting judge of Calcutta High Court for the alleged contempt of Court.