Ex-judge Karnan arrested in Tamil Nadu

Ivan Schwartz
June 20, 2017

Former Calcutta High Court Judge C.S. Karnan was arrested in Coimbatore, by the West Bengal police, on Tuesday.

"The Supreme Court has already ordered a jail term of six months for him", the officer said.

Earlier on May 21, a representation was made to the President on behalf of Justice Karnan seeking suspension of the Supreme Court order sentencing him to six-month imprisonment for contempt of court.

"They (West Bengal police) have to follow procedure" and can't be seen to be "high handed" as Justice Karnan knows the law and there are lawyers around him. According to reports, he will be flown to Kolkata possibly by Wednesday.

A team of West Bengal police had rushed to Chennai and other places in Tamil Nadu looking for him but without success.

He had appeared before the apex court on March 31, a first in Indian judicial history, and had asked for restoration of his powers as a precondition for his re- appearance, but the plea was rejected.

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Karnan, who was eluding arrest for more than a month, retired from service, a few days back. He also became the first high court judge to have retired as a fugitive.

Transferred a year ago from Chennai to Kolkata, Justice Karnan had written to the Prime Minister and president in January accusing several judges of corruption. In May, a seven-judge bench sentenced the judge to six-months jail finding him guilty of contempt of court.

Earlier, the apex court had issued a bailable warrant against him to secure his presence in the contempt case.

"Under our constitutional scheme, high courts are not subordinate to the Supreme Court; high courts are as much independent as the Supreme Court is, though their orders could be judicially challenged in the Supreme Court, the latter being a Court of Appeal", the petition said.

He was transferred to Calcutta High Court on March 11, 2016, after he raised repeated allegations against against Madras High Chief Justice and fellow judges.

The high court judge had on 15 February, 2016 stayed his transfer order, which was suspended by the Supreme Court. Even if other six judges Chief Justice Khehar, Justice Dipak Misra, Justice J. Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B. Lokur, and Justice Kurian Joseph continue to remain on the bench, change of one judge as per the top court practice, would necessitate fresh hearing of the matter.

Other reports by GizPress

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