A Madras High Court judge has alleged that he has been subjected to victimization on the grounds of caste by his fellow lawyers and judges, accusing them of subjecting him to humiliation for taking up litigation in an independent manner. The victimized judge, Justice C S Karnanhas petitioned the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and sought an inquiry. While he has not mentioned caste as the reason for alleged prejudice against him, the judge’s decision to approach the Dalit watchdog has seen the commission view the case as one of caste discrimination.
Sources said NCSC chairman P L Punia has written to Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia urging him to look into the matter.
Justice Karnan, in his three-page letter to NCSC, claimed that those fellow lawyers during public occasions used to deliberately point shots at him and also once they crushed a name plate carrying his name at a public event. Moreover he added, these actions by lawyers were backed up by the judges due his refusal to be part of a group or coordinated consultations on cases was not liked by some judges who expected him to conform to the unwritten code. He also said he had been deprived of participating in (events) in his native district of Cuddalore as special guest while he had also been denied participation in the National Judicial Academy except once when he had just joined the HC.In a serious charge, the judge said 70 lawyers encouraged and financed by a few judges would assemble on the fifth floor of the High Court during court hours in an inebriated state and would try to instigate him, and some of them would even gather in the corridor outside his room with the same objective.
News report by Adhir Roy Chowdury