A seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said that Justice Karnan, despite being served with the notice in the case, “has not put in appearance.”
“Moreover, no lawyer has been appointed by him to represent him today,” the bench, also comprising Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur, P C Ghose and Kurian Joseph, said.
“We are not aware of the reasons for his non-appearance. We, therefore, refrain from proceeding with the matter,” it said while deferring the matter for hearing after three weeks.
The apex court had last week turned the alleged contemptuous letters written by Justice Karnan against the Madras HC Chief Justice, which were addressed to the CJI, Prime Minister and others, into contempt proceedings against him.
At today’s hearing, the bench also took on record the recent controversial letter written by Justice Karnan to the Registrar General of the Supreme Court on February 10. Justice Karnan has purportedly said in the letter that he has been victimised for being a ‘Dalit’ and this matter be referred to Parliament.
The bench today also took serious note of some lawyers appearing in the matter without being authorised by Justice Karnan and said that they will be proceeded against under the law for interfering with the judicial process.
Earlier, the apex court, on February 8, had asked Justice Karnan to appear in person before it and explain as to why contempt proceedings be not initiated against him.