Former Calcutta High Court Judge CS Karnan has been released from Presidency Jail after serving six-month jail sentence. He had been in Coimbatore since May 9 when the apex court held him guilty for contempt of court and sentenced him to six months imprisonment.
Karnan, 62, who retired on June 12 as Calcutta High Court judge, was arrested on June 20 by the West Bengal CID.
Karnan has the dubious distinction of being the first sitting high court judge to be awarded a jail term by the apex court and also the first to have retired as a fugitive.
— ANI (@ANI) December 20, 2017
A seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, had on May 9 directed the West Bengal director general of police to take the then serving judge into custody immediately.
Despite several attempts, Karnan has failed to get any relief from the apex court’s vacation benches which has refused to hear his plea seeking a stay of its jail term order.
“He [Justice Karnan] is scheduled to be released tomorrow [Dec. 20]. I am coming to Kolkata to accompany him back to Chennai,” Justice Karnan’s wife Saraswati Karnan had told PTI over the phone on Tuesday.
Ms. Saraswati Karnan, a professor of economics in a Chennai college, said she had last met her husband at the Presidency Correctional Home in Kolkata a month-and-a-half ago.
“I found him in good spirits and health,” she said.
Justice Karnan had earned the dubious distinction of becoming the first sitting high court judge to have been sentenced to jail.
The apex court had sentenced him to six months in jail for contempt of court on May 9. Justice Karnan was a serving judge of the Calcutta High Court at that time.
A seven-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India J.S.
Khehar, had asked the West Bengal Director General of Police (DGP) to take Justice Karnan, who was on a warpath with the apex court for months, into custody.
The Supreme Court had earlier issued a bailable warrant against the judge to secure his presence before it in connection with the contempt case.
Justice Karnan had appeared before the apex court on March 31, a first in the country’s judicial history, and asked for restoration of his powers as a pre-condition for his re-appearance, but the plea was rejected.
Justice Karnan, who enrolled as an advocate with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu in 1983, was appointed a judge of the Madras High Court in 2009. He was transferred to the Calcutta High Court on March 11, 2016.
He was transferred from the Madras High Court for his repeated allegations against and run-ins with the then Chief Justice and fellow judges of the court.
With PTI Input