New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed Calcutta High Court former judge C.S. Karnan's petition challenging the constitutional validity of the Contempt of Courts Act. The court said: "The challenge to the constitutionality of the Contempt of Courts Act in the present case does not lie inasmuch as the Supreme Court has not exercised power under the Contempt of Courts Act but invoked its inherent jurisdiction under Article 129 of the Constitution." Karnan had sought a declaration from the high court that the apex court's May 9 sentencing order and further proceedings under it were "unconstitutional and void" as the principles of natural justice were allegedly not followed.
The bench dismissed the contentions made on behalf of Karnan that the principles of natural justice were not followed in awarding him a six-month jail term. It noted that the petitioner was given ample opportunity to file his defence before the court but he chose not to do so. It added: "The petitioner's communications, orders and conduct establish that he had full knowledge of the orders of the court, proceedings as well as the material against him. The submission that principles of natural justice were not complied with is clearly not borne out from the record."