Both the Bar Association and Bar Council have decided to boycott Justice Karnan’s Bench. Justice Chellur will write to the Chief Justice of India narrating the whole episode. The trouble began on Tuesday morning when Justice Ashim Kumar Roy opposed Justice Karnan’s move to grant bail to those arrested in connection with the collapse of a portion of Vivekananda Road flyover. On May 20, a Division Bench comprising Justice Roy and Justice Karnan had rejected the bail petition moved by the accused. On Monday, Justice Karnan changed his decision and subsequently changed the order issued by the division Bench on May 20 in the matter.
On Tuesday morning Justice Roy opposed the move and called the advocates of both the state government and the accused and told that such an incident was unprecedented in the history of Calcutta High Court when a Justice had changed the order that had passed earlier by him. Justice Roy and Justice Karnan entered into a wordy duel and went to their chambers. Senior Counsels went to pacify them but both refused to sit together.
The counsels also met the Chief Justice and narrated the whole story. Justice Chellur split the Bench and sent Justice Karnan in compulsory waiting. Justice Karnan had earlier been involved in a controversy over his posting. He had been transferred from Madras High Court. Later, he stayed an order of Supreme Court regarding his transfer.
The Calcutta High Court Bar Association held an urgent general body meeting later in the day and decided not to attend the court of Justice Karnan. “We held a general body meeting wherein a majority decision was taken not to participate in any judicial proceedings before the court of Justice Karnan,” Bar Association General Secretary Suranjan Dasgupta said alleging “misbehaviour” by the judge. Other senior advocates of Calcutta High Court said such an incident was uncalled for.