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Justice Karnan's outrageous defiance -The HINDU

He has brought the judiciary into disrepute, flouted all norms of judicial conduct and thrown an open challenge to the Supreme Court. His continuance as a judge makes a mockery of democracy and the rule of law. The case of Justice C.S. Karnan is no longer just strange or curious; it is disgraceful and intolerable. The Calcutta High Court judge’s ‘order’ summoning the Chief Justice of India and six judges of the Supreme Court to his ‘residential court’ to face punishment under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, is yet another unacceptable affront to the apex court’s authority. Justice Karnan’s conduct goes against the assurance he gave the Chief Justice of India last year that he would foster a “harmonious attitude towards one and all”. At that time, he had expressed regret for passing a suo motu order staying his own transfer from the Madras High Court to the Calcutta High Court, admitting that it was an “erroneous order” passed due to “mental frustration, resulting in loss of mental balance”. The latest instance of his misconduct is in response to the contempt proceedings initiated against him by the Supreme Court for denigrating the judicial institution by making sweeping allegations, in a letter to the Prime Minister, against several judges. He had appeared in person before a seven-judge Bench on March 31, and was given four weeks to respond to the charge of contempt of court. It is quite apparent that he is only further damaging his own case.

The recalcitrant judge has a long history of alleging corruption among other judges, accusing some of caste discrimination against him, and often invoking his caste identity to take complaints against his peers and even Chief Justices to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes. In the past, he has passed judicial orders on matters pertaining to the selection of judges, even after being barred by a Division Bench from hearing them. He had once barged into a court during a hearing, and on another occasion into the chamber of the Madras High Court Chief Justice, “hurling a volley of invectives”. Public criticism, transfer to another High Court, being hauled up for contempt and being denied judicial work — nothing seems to restrain him. The only option left is impeachment, but it is a political process involving Parliament and is something he himself may want so he can give full play to his alleged grievances, including those based on his caste. Justice Karnan’s case vividly exposes the inadequacies of the collegium system of appointments. Nothing makes a better case for the infusion of greater transparency in the selection of judges than his current presence in the High Court.



IMPORTANT WORDS AND THEIR MEANINGS

1) Disrepute (निन्दा) - Dis-rep-ute
  • Meaning - the state of being held in low esteem by the public - Noun
  • Synonyms - disgrace, shame
  • Antonyms - approval, honor
  • Example - After the police officer shot an unarmed teen, the city residents saw the entire police department as being in disrepute.

2) Flouted (उल्लंघन) - Flaw-oo-ted
  • Meaning - openly disregard (a rule, law, or convention) - Verb
  • Synonyms - defy, disregard
  • Antonyms - approve, commend
  • Example - People find themselves in trouble because they think they’re clever enough to flout the law without getting caught.

3) Summoning (आहूत) -  Sum-an-ing
  • Meaning - order (someone) to be present - Verb
  • Synonyms - ask, assemble
  • Antonyms - answer, cancel
  • Example - They planned to defect to Raj by summoning Aditya.

4) Affront (अपमान) - A-front
  • Meaning - an action or remark that causes outrage or offence - Noun
  • offend the modesty or values of - Verb
  • Synonyms - insult, offence
  • Antonyms - respect, aid
  • Example - By not bowing to the queen, you have shown an affront to the entire royal family.

5) Erroneous (ग़लत) - Erro-ni-us
  • Meaning - wrong; incorrect - Adjective
  • Synonyms - wrong, false
  • Antonyms - accurate, correct
  • Example - If you have used erroneous statistics in your report, you will have to start over from the beginning.

6) Recalcitrant (आज्ञा न माननेवाला) - Recal-sit-rant
  • Meaning - a person with a recalcitrant attitude - Noun
  • having an obstinately uncooperative attitude towards authority or discipline - Adjective
  • Synonyms - radical, stubborn
  • Antonyms - agreeable, compliant
  • Example - There are some companies, however, that are really recalcitrant.

7) Impeachment (अधिक्षेप) - M-peach-ment
  • Meaning - the action of calling into question the integrity or validity of something - Noun
  • Synonyms - allegation, indictment
  • Antonyms - approval, praise
  • Example - Without sufficient evidence, you cannot hope to impeach a public official.

8) Infusion (आसव) - In-few-shun
  • Meaning - the introduction of a new element or quality into something - Noun
  • Synonyms - admixture, mixture
  • Example - My grandmother swore an infusion of lemon, mint, black tea, and honey would cure whatever might ail you.

Word of the Day

  • Erstwhile (भूतपूर्व) - Er-st-while
  • Meaning - former - Adjective
  • Synonyms - once, late
  • Example (English) - I was born into a middle-class Tamil family in the island town of Rameswaram in the erstwhile Madras state. A P J Abdul Kalam, "Wings of Fire: an autobiography"
  • Example (Hindi) - मेरा जन्म पहले के मद्रास राज्य में टापू पर बसे रामेश्वरम नामक कस्बे में एक मध्य-वर्गीय तमिल परिवार में हुआ था। -- ए पी जे अब्दुल कलाम, "विंग्स ऑफ़ फ़ायर: एन ऑटोबायोग्राफी"
Now considering the article above as a Reading Comprehension question, try to answer the following - 
  • What does the writ of Prohibition mean?
Given below are some words to check your vocabulary you can make sentences with those words in the comment section which will be reviewed by us.
  • Intolerable
  • Allegation
  • Pertaining 
  • Apparent 
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