A very strange case of ill-treatment, caste bias and harassment from fellow judges has come up in the judiciary. A sitting judge of the Madras High Court Justice C.S. Karnan has made a representation before the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and has sought an inquiry into the matter. The Judge has claimed that he is being mistreated on caste grounds and has accused his fellow judges of subjecting him to humiliation for taking up litigations in an independent manner, reports TOI.
A very strange case of ill-treatment, caste bias and harassment from fellow judges has come up in the judiciary. A sitting judge of the Madras High Court Justice C.S. Karnan (pictured) has made a representation before the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and has sought an inquiry into the matter. The Judge has claimed that he is being mistreated on caste grounds and has accused his fellow judges of subjecting him to humiliation for taking up litigations in an independent manner, reports TOI.
NCSC chairman P. L. Punia has written to Chief Justice of India S. H. Kapadia urging him to look into the matter. The representation has also been forwarded to the President of India.
According to media report, Justice Karnan had also made a representation before the Chief Justice of Madras High Court. However, no action has been taken till now. The representation to the NCSC was made in the month of September.
Justice Karnan was appointed as Additional Judge of Madras High Court on March 31, 2009. Justice Karnan, in his three-page letter to NCSC, said his independent way of dealing with petitions had annoyed brother judges. He claimed colleagues humiliated him by deliberately pointing their shoes at him at a social function and by crushing a name plate carrying his name.
Justice Karnan even alleged that lawyers backed by judges tried to instigate him in the court premises and an investigation of their telephone call records could be carried out to prove their involvement.
Justice Karnan told TOI that he was ready for a "public inquiry" to prove his allegations of harassment and discrimination. Justice Karnan, who has been in the eye of a storm over some of his rulings, said he would use the inquiry to disprove allegations against him as well.
Attempts to instigate are repeatedly mentioned by Justice Karnan in his petition. According to Justice Karnan, his refusal to be part of a group or coordinated consultations on cases was not liked by some judges who expected him to conform to the unwritten code. He said the objective behind such behaviour was to "reduce (his) role to subjugation".
He said he had been deprived of participating in (events) in his native district of Cuddalore as special guest while he had also been denied participation in the National Judicial Academy except once when he had just joined the HC.
In a serious charge, the judge said 70 lawyers "encouraged and financed" by a few judges would assemble on the fifth floor of the HC during court hours in an inebriated state and would try to instigate him, and some of them would even gather in the corridor outside his room with the same objective.
Justice Karnan, talking to TOI said, “Just because I hail from a humble background, they cannot target me. I rose to this level due to sheer hard work and merit. During a felicitation after my elevation to the high court, lawyers offered me a crown. I have been living up to their expectations. Now, my reputation is in tatters. As a public servant receiving salary from public exchequer, I owe an explanation to people. I am ready for a public inquiry.”
This is a very important matter as in this case serious allegations of harassment and discrimination on caste basis have been made against the fellow judges. The question that arises as to who will conduct an inquiry into this matter and whether the fellow judges will be questioned on the allegations made against them.