Supreme Court of India,
Sub: Filing of:
REVIEW PETITION (CIVIL) NO. _____ OF 2017
SUO MOTU CONMT.PET.(C)NO.1 OF 2017
(Seeking review of the judgments dated 09/05/2017 & 04/07/2017 passed by this Hon’ble Court in SUO MOTU CONMT.PET.(C) NO.1 OF 2017)
Justice C.S. Karnan ………..Review Petitioner
IN THE MATTER OF:
Supreme Court of India
on its own motion … Suo Moto
Justice C.S. Karnan … Original Alleged Contemnor/Respondent
- Nowhere in the world, a lawyer whose sacred duty to protect the life, freedom and liberty of his client could have ever faced the kind of injustice, nay, pain, insult, humiliation and agony the undersigned so too his colleagues had to face. So too, nowhere in the world, a person accused of an offence could have been sentenced without a charge, without a lawyer, without his presence secured, without a judgment, nay, a judgment being authored after the execution of the sentence. Justice Karnan’s case could be the sole exception. The undersigned does not intent to be critical of anyone. The Contempt of Courts Act as of today has meant the freedom to dissent a mirage. All, the undersigned can express and intent to express is his pain and agony, for which no word be adequate.
- Justice C.S.Karnan was sentenced on 09/05/2017, in gross violation of law. He sought to recall the order through the undersigned. He also instituted a substantive petition under Article 32 in challenge of the Contempt Of Courts Act,1971. But the Ld.Registrar rejected it, assuming himself to be invested with the jurisdiction of the court. Since the judgment was yet to be authored, at least, not pronounced, not even uploaded in the website, he sought suspense of the sentence and enlargement on bail. The undersigned mentioned at least twice during the summer vacation, pleading that the application for bail be listed. Justice C.S.Karnan had indeed been arrested on 20/06/2017.
- The judgment was eventually uploaded on 05/07/2017. There were two separate judgments, though concurring. The judgment of the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Jasti Chelameswar and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ranjan Gogoi dated 04/07/2017, which meant that Justice C.S.Karnan was sentenced without a judgment. Justice C.S.Karnan accordingly preferred an application for review, which the undersigned as his lawyer prepared in no loss of time. The undersigned, along with Shri.B.K.Adhikary, advocate, called on Justice C.S.Karnan on 08/07/2017 at the Presidency Jail at Kolkata. The review petition was duly executed by Justice C.S.Karnan. His signature was identified and attested by the jail authorities. The undersigned came to New Delhi on 11/07/2017 to present the same petition at the filing counter along with Shri.A.C.Philip, advocate, and Shri.Sonu Beniwal, the registered clerk. The clerk at the registering counter accepted the review petition and assured to give the registration number, the next day morning. He was polite and courteous. He even assured that he will inform the registration number over the phone, since the undersigned insist the inability to come to the counter on the next day morning. However what transpired since then can have no parallel in judicial history. The clerk of undersigned, Shri.Sonu Beniwal received a call from the registry on the next day around at 03:00 PM, requesting him to come to the filing counter. He rushed in accordingly. He was told that the review petition contains the signatures of more than one advocate and therefore it is returned. The clerk, at the best a matriculate, without a thought readily took back the review petition and brought the same to the undersigned. The undersigned along with Shri.A.C.Philip went and met, Mr. P.K. Bajaj, Addl. Registrar, whereas his statements were ‘you can do anything you want, but I am not going to accept it. You go to anybody, I am not bothered’.
- Accordingly the undersigned along with Shri.A.C.Philip went in search of the Registrar. He was busy in a meeting at the new lawyers launch at the ground floor.On the backdrop of the said meeting Shri. Kapil Kumar Mehta, Registrar, Supreme Court of India, courteous and polite requested the undersigned to meet him in his chambers on the next day morning. Since the undersigned had to rush to Kerala, his native place, his associate, Shri.A.C.Philip met him. The registrar whom Shri.A.C.Philip met on 13/07/2017 was not the same registrar whom we had met on the previous day! He was no longer friendly or receptive. In a stern tone, he told that he will not accept it. This lead to some sort of heated argument between him and Shri.A.C.Philip, advocate. Shri.A.C.Philip brought to his notice that the undersigned so too him have presented the review petition at the filing counter upon due authorization of Justice C.S.Karnan along with the Vakalathnama, so too the authorisation letter; that the registry is duty bound to take on record the review petition which the counter clerk indeed did on 11/07/2017, register it and list it as per the rules. He further pointed out that if the review petition is defective in any manner, the registry is duty bound to notify the defects in writing to the lawyer who represented him. Shri.A.C.Philip had carried with him the supreme court rules. And he drew his attention to Order-XII, Rule- 1 & 5 and Order-VIII Rule 5 & 6- of the Supreme Court Rules,2013. However no amount of reason, argument or logic, the undersigned is afraid to say, could have convinced the registrar. Shri.A.C.Philip, the associate of the undersigned, determined as he was, took the stand that he will not return unless the registry register even as defective and notify the objections. Finally the Ld. Registrar instructed a clerk to return it with an endorsement. Finally, to be reminded of the words of Horace that, “parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus” – mountains will be in labour, and an absurd mouse will be born, the clerk wrote thus: ”In view of claise c of rule 7 of Order IV of SCR petition is not accepted..sd/-. (13/07/2017) Sr Court Asstt.”
- In other words, the review petition of Justice C.S.Karnan was returned, without it being registered, without it being scrutinised, it’s objections if any not notified; it being confined to the grave, without it ever being listed for hearing and the grave injustice done to him ever rectified.
- The right to institute a review petition is a right guaranteed under article 137 of the constitution. It is unfathomable that it has happened at the hands of the Supreme Court of India , the sentinel qui vive of the life and liberty, the very guardian of the constitution.
- To err is human; the Ld. Registrar, Shri. Kapil Kumar Mehta, so too the subordinate staff, in particular Mr. P.K. Bajaj, Addl. Registrar has erred gravely in the discharge of their function. However it could be corrected and it ought to be corrected, otherwise the very concept of rule of law has no meaning. In that case, the very constitution of India really does not exist. Accordingly I am sending the review petition along with the annexure, Interlocutory Applications, Vakalatnama, Affidavit and Authorization Letter, by registered post acknowledgment due. The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, the Ld. Attorney General of India, The president of SCBA, SCAORA the members of bar and the public at large even in their wildest of dream could ever be able to contemplate that what the undersigned has narrated above could have happened, could ever. Therefore the undersigned marking copies of the instant letter to them.
Thanking you in anticipation,
Advocates for the review petitioner
PS: Incidentally it may be added that none of the AOR even those whom the undersigned had engaged in many a matters were not forthcoming to be an AOR for Justice C.S.Karnan. They consider that, to do so is detrimental to their profession
Enclosure: As stated
Copy (Without enclosures) to:
- The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India,
- Attorney General of India,
- The President of SCBA,
- The President of SCAORA,
- The Press/Media.
- September 29, 2023
August 3, 2019
- September 29, 2023