After one month of evading police, Justice Karnan arrested in Coimbatore

CS Karnan

CS Karnan

The hunt that began on May 9 to arrest retired Kolkatta High Court Judge C.S. Karnan came to an end on Tuesday, when cops from West Bengal and Tamil Nadu police took custody of him from a location near Malumichampatti on the outskirts of Coimbatore City.

The CID acted on a Supreme Court order sentencing Karnan to six months jail for contempt of court.

Police in Coimbatore became aware of the presence of the judge in their district only after the cops from West Bengal and the state police reached the door steps of Mr. Karnan's place of stay, said to be between Malumichampatti and Madukkarai.

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The letter got him into trouble with the judiciary, and the Supreme Court summoned him in February after issuing a suo moto contempt order against him. Teams of West Bengal police and Tamil Nadu police have been looking for the former judge who retired while on the run. He argued that as a HC Judge, Karnan was not under the Supreme Court bench's jurisdiction. The former judge was being brought to Chennai.

Owing to the unprecedented situation prevailing after the Supreme Court order and owing to his absence, a farewell could not be considered, Calcutta High Court Bar Association President Suranjan Dasgupta said. "It shows a complete lack of respect for the Supreme Court by the Executive". No judicial body was to recognise his orders, it said.

Three police teams from Kolkata were camping here for the last three days and traced Karnan on the basis of his mobile phone calls.

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The court later turned down his pleas for staying the sentence. His plea for review was declined on technical grounds without its coming before the seven judges bench.

His arrest on June 20 comes after his retirement eight days ago - on June 12. "I am prosecuting them under SC/ST Act, so they are scared have lost their mind", Justice CS Karnan said in an interview with News 18 on May 1.

Besides Chief Justice Khehar, other judges on the bench were Justice Dipak Misra, Justice J. Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Kurian Joseph.

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The apex court had earlier even asked the chief justice of the Madras high court not to assign him any judicial work.

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