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Ex-HC Judge CS Karnan, Jailed for Contempt by SC, Set to be Released Today

Former Calcutta High Court judge C S Karnan was arrested from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu on June 20 after he evaded the police for over a month.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:December 19, 2017, 11:58 PM IST
Ex-HC Judge CS Karnan, Jailed for Contempt by SC, Set to be Released Today
A file photo of former Calcutta High Court Judge CS Karnan. (CNN-News18 Photo)
Kolkata: Former Calcutta High Court judge C S Karnan is set to be released on Wednesday after serving a six-month jail sentence, which was handed out to him by the Supreme Court for contempt.

Speaking to News18 from Chennai, Karnan's friend and advocate, Peter Ramesh Kumar, said, “Yes he is coming out tomorrow (Wednesday). It is a good news for us. His family members will be in Kolkata to receive him. From Presidency Correctional Centre he will go to his Rosedale apartment (New Town) and will stay there for a week to complete his retirement formalities. After that he will come back to Chennai.”

He further added: “Last time I met him in Kolkata’s Correctional Centre was on November 16. He was fine but had lost nearly 10 Kgs in weight. He wrote an autobiography inside jail and he told me that he wants to publish his autobiography along with 22 orders which he passed against the Supreme Court judges (when the controversy was going on).”

Despite repeated attempts, his son Sugan was not available for comment. He, along with his mother and Karnan’s brother, will be in Kolkata on Wednesday to complete all the official formalities before his release.

Karnan’s caretaker, Nazrul Islam, expressed happiness that Karnan will be released after serving jail term for six months.

“I met him several times in jail and he looked very strong. I met him a few days ago and he said there is no problem inside jail...the jail officials respect him a lot. Tomorrow (Wednesday), I will be going to jail to receive him,” he said.

IG, Prisons, Arun Gupta, refused to comment on the matter. Though an official source said, “Justice Karnan was very humble and polite with them. He used to live a simple life and most of the time busy in writing autobiography. He happily used to have flat rice, puffed rice, sattu and bread with jaggery for breakfast. For lunch and dinner, he used to have rice, sabzi and dal and sometimes roti.”

Karnan was provided with a bed and a blanket along with a chair inside his cell.

He was arrested by West Bengal police from a house in Coimbatore's Malumichampatti area in Tamil Nadu. He was on the run and, for over a month, managed to evade the police.

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. 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 Karnan, who was on a warpath with the apex court for months, into custody.

The bench stated that Justice Karnan has to be looked at like an “ordinary citizen” of the country and cannot be treated like a sitting judge in this case. Justice Karnan was also found guilty of abusing the judiciary and judicial indiscretion. Then, CJI Khehar noted that “contempt is contempt”.

The Supreme Court had earlier issued a bailable warrant against the judge to secure his presence before it in connection with the contempt case.

Karnan, who had 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.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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