New Delhi: Justice C S Karnan of the Madras High Court today courted yet another controversy by "staying" CJI's order transferring him to Calcutta High Court, which was suspended late in the evening by the Supreme Court with a direction that he will not be assigned any judicial work.
On a day of fast-moving developments, the news of Justice Karnan taking on the CJI came after an apex court court bench asked the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court not to assign any judicial work to him.
The bench comprising Justices J S Khehar and R Banumathi had stopped short of directing that Justice Karnan would not take suo motu cognizance of his transfer and pass judicial order.
The bench passed the order after it was brought to its notice by High Court's senior advocate K K Venugopal that the controversial judge has listed the issue of transfer before him.
The bench had restrained itself from passing any such specific order but after the lunch recess, Justice Khehar who was sitting in another bench of five judges, was informed about the development prompting him to remark that the order would be modified in consultation with Justice Banumathi.
The late evening order made it clear that all administrative and judicial orders passed by Justice Karnan after the issuance of proposal of his transfer from Madras High Court by February 12 letter shall remain stayed till further orders.
"Having taken note of the situation, in our view it would be appropriate that Justice C S Karnan should hear and dispose of only such matters as are specially assigned to him by the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court.
"It will be open to the Chief Justice of the High Court, not to assign any further administrative/judicial work to him. This would imply, that no other orders shall be passed by Justice C.S. Karnan, suo-motu or otherwise, in any matter not specially assigned to him," read the final order of the two-judge bench of Justice Khehar and Justice Banumathi.
The bench also said "The operation of all or any administrative/judicial order(s) passed by Justice C S Karnan, after the issuance of the proposal of his transfer from the Madras High Court dated February 12, 2016.(unless specially assigned to him, by the Chief Justice), shall remain stayed till further orders.
It also said that the instant order shall be furnished to Justice C S Karnan, by the Registrar General of the High Court and "It shall be open to the Judge to enter appearance before this Court, in case he is so advised (in respect of the instant/pending matter).