Calcutta high court judge Justice C S Karnan will observe hunger strikes in Delhi and three other cities demanding restoration of his administrative and judicial work and withdrawal of the suo motu contempt proceedings against him.
"Justice Karnan has decided to hold hunger strike at New Delhi in front of the Rashtrapati Bhavan or at Ramlila Maidan depending on the permission granted for the same," Justice Karnan's counsel W Peter Ramesh Kumar said.
He said that the agitation would be held demanding "restoration of administrative and judicial work of Justice Karnan, which has been stopped since February 8, 2017."
"The agitation will also be on the demand for withdrawal of suo motu contempt proceedings against Justice Karnan and recall of warrant issued against him," said Kumar.
The agitation would also seek payment of compensation of Rs 14 crore as demanded by Justice Karnan in a letter to the seven-judge bench of the apex court on March 16.
The hunger strike in Delhi will be preceded by similar agitations in Chennai, Kolkata and Lucknow, Kumar said.
"In Chennai, the hunger strike will be observed opposite Fort St George, the state secretariat of Tamil Nadu. In Kolkata, it will be held opposite Raj Bhavan near Calcutta high court, while at Lucknow, the strike will be observed opposite Lucknow University," he said.
The counsel said that the dates for holding the hunger strikes were yet to be finalised.
"We are yet to decide whether to hold the agitations before March 31 or after, when the bailable warrant issued by the Supreme Court is returnable and the suo motu contempt is scheduled to be taken up," he said.
On March 10, the seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar took strong note of Justice Karnan's "non-appearance" despite being served with the contempt notice, and asked the Director General of West Bengal Police to execute the warrants on the judge to ensure his presence at 10.30 am on March 31.
Justice Karnan had hit back saying that they had "no locus standi" to issue a bailable warrant against a sitting judge and alleged that he was being targeted for being a Dalit.
He also issued an 'order' of registration of a case under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 against the judges constituting the seven-judge bench.
Later on March 16, he wrote to the seven-judge bench seeking a compensation of Rs 14 crore.
On March 17, West Bengal Director General of Police (DGP) Surajit Kar Purakayastha went to serve the bailable warrant at Justice Karnan's residence in New Town near Kolkata.
Justice Karnan, in a letter to the seven-judge bench on the same day, said he "rejected the warrant."
Photograph: PTI Photo