West Bengal police unable to trace Justice Karnan

Clyde Nash
May 12, 2017

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had sentenced the sitting judge to undergo imprisonment for six months, and made it clear that he should be arrested immediately.

In the supreme court, Nedumpara said that 12 advocates on record had refused to represent Justice Karnan. The bench agreed to look into the petition. The CJI also asked lawyer Mathews J Nedumpara about the whereabouts of Justice Karnan.

Elaborating on the reason for not allowing the judges to travel overseas, Justice Karnan said if "the accused are permitted to travel overseas, there is the probability of the virus of caste discrimination spreading in the said country by such perpetrators".

The plea on behalf of the judge was mentioned before the bench which had just concluded the day's hearing on the issue of triple talaq.

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The West Bengal police team that arrived in Chennai on Wednesday to arrest Justice CS Karnan, sentenced to six months' jail by the Supreme Court, failed to trace his location. He did more. Hours after the SC order, Justice Karnan himself issued an order instructing the Director General of Police of New Delhi to produce the "accused" SC judges before a psychiatric board. Police sources said the team went to Tada after his mobile signal was last picked up near the Andhra Pradesh town close to the Tamil Nadu border.

He has also said in his application that the SC should recall its order which sentenced him to six months in jail.

A five-member Bengal police team led by DGP (home guard) Raj Kanojia reached Chennai early on Wednesday and met Chennai police commissioner Karan Singha seeking logistic support to track Justice Karnan.

The court demanded an explanation from Justice Karnan and ordered him to appear in person, which he ignored. The apex court has been resistant to the idea of a transparent National Judicial Appointments Committee, even though at least one of its judges is against the collegium system.

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Earlier, the apex court constituted a medical board to examine the mental condition of Justice Karnan on May 5 and also directed the DG West Bengal to assist the medical board to get justice Karnan examined. A recalcitrant Karnan had on February 15, 2016 stayed his transfer order, which was suspended by the Supreme Court.

The controversy began in January when Karnan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order an investigation against judges of the Madras high court and the apex court of corruption.

To add a further twist to this tale, Karnan is now known to have left Kolkata the morning of the Supreme Court's decision to send him to jail.

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