Justice Karnan's escalated his confrontation with Supreme Court judges hearing his contempt case.
In a sign that he wasn't going to back down, Calcutta High Court Judge Justice CS Karnan on Thursday 'ordered' the Chief Justice of India and six judges to appear before him to face proceedings for "wantonly and deliberately" insulting him during last month's Supreme Court hearing.
The 61-year-old judge wants the seven top judges to appear at his "residential court" in Kolkata on April 28, three days before they are to hear a contempt case against him.
At the last hearing on March 31, the Chief Justice of India had raised a question about his mental health, the judge recalled in the 'order' made public at a Press conference in Kolkata. The six other judges of the bench had "endorsed" the Chief Justice's query.
Justice Karnan said this amounted to insulting him in open court "wantonly, deliberately and with malafide intention". He wanted the top judges to defend themselves against the charge of violating the Scheduled Caste Prevention of Atrocities Act.
The judge has been angry that the Supreme Court refused to let him hear cases after initiating the contempt case for levelling allegations against the courts top judges without backing up his charge with evidence. Before the hearing, the judge had handed over a letter to the top court's seven-judge bench which led the court to inquire if he wanted to withdraw the allegations. But he did not respond to this direct query, one way or the other.
It is not clear if the controversial judge still exercises judicial powers. His previous directions including one to the CBI to probe the Supreme Court judges have gone unimplemented.
So far, the Supreme Court has been treating the judge with kid gloves. This is the first time that a sitting high court judge has been accused of contempt of court and the top court is conscious that any step it takes, would become a precedent for the future. Already, it has had to issue an arrest warrant against him to secure his presence in the court at the last hearing. Justice Karnan had, however, insisted that he would not attend the next one, and dared the court to arrest him.