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Former HC Judge Karnan Walks Free After Serving 6-month Sentence for Contempt

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.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:December 20, 2017, 1:29 PM IST
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Former HC Judge Karnan Walks Free After Serving 6-month Sentence for Contempt
A file photo of Justice CS Karnan (CNN-News18)
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Kolkata: Former Calcutta High Court Justice CS Karnan was released from the Presidency Correctional Centre on Wednesday after serving a six-month jail sentence handed out to him by the Supreme Court for contempt.

Around 11 am, his family members received him from Presidency Correctional Centre and headed for his Rosedale apartment in New Town where he will stay for a week. After that Karnan along with his family will go back to Chennai. Karnan, who was wearing a suit, looked happy but tired.

Speaking to News18 from Chennai, Karnan's friend and advocate, Peter Ramesh Kumar, had said, “It is a good news for us. Last time I met him was on November 16. He was fine but lost nearly 10 kilograms of weight. He wrote an autobiography inside jail and he told me that he wants to publish it.”

Karnan was 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.
| Edited by: Mayur Borah
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