Madurai lawyers seek action on judge
November 5, 2011
A group of lawyers, many of them dalits, has demanded action against
Justice C.S. Karnan accusing him of using the dalit card to promote
his own interests. They alleged that the judge had functioned in an
anti-dalit manner while disposing of some cases in his court.
"His dalit identity is just a façade. The judge had adopted an
approach inimical to the dalit victims in some cases," P. Rathinam,
leading the group of advocates, told reporters here on Friday. He
released copies of a memorandum the lawyers' group had sent to the
chief justice of the Madras high court pleading for action against
According to Mr Rathinam, the judge had threatened to initiate
contempt proceedings against a lawyer when he appeared for a dalit
victim allegedly assaulted by the head of a Madurai-based NGO and his
When the advocate replied that he was only discharging his duty as a
counsel, Justice Karnan reacted saying contempt proceedings should be
initiated against him for interfering unnecessarily (in the case).
This incident figured in the lawyers' petition to the chief justice.
In that petition of October 20, they said, "Contempt proceedings
should be initiated against the judge for threatening the lawyer in
the open court. We also request the Chief Justice not to allot
judicial work to him". The petition also alleged that the judge had
granted bail 'liberally' on various matters.
Pleading for action against the judge, the lawyers said his hesitation
to name the judges, who according to him had humiliated him because he
was a dalit, was "only tactics to safeguard himself from the charges".
Justice Karnan had recently filed a complaint with the National
Commission for SC/ST alleging that some brother and sister judges had
humiliated him just because he was a dalit.
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