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Ex-Calcutta HC judge Karnan petitions Governor for bail or parole

Karnan, 62, who was lodged at the Presidency Correctional Home here on June 21 following his arrest in Tamil Nadu a day earlier, is at present undergoing treatment at the state-run SSKM Hospital.

PTI, Kolkata [Published on:26 Jun 2017, 6:51 PM IST]
Ex-Calcutta HC judge Karnan petitions Governor for bail or
Ex-Calcutta HC judge Karnan petitions Governor for bail or parole

Former Calcutta High Court judge CS Karnan, jailed on an order of the Supreme Court, has moved a petition before the governor of West Bengal seeking bail or parole. 

Karnan, 62, who was lodged at the Presidency Correctional Home here on June 21 following his arrest in Tamil Nadu a day earlier, is at present undergoing treatment at the state-run SSKM Hospital. He was sentenced to six months' imprisonment for contempt of court by a seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, on May nine.

Questioning the constitutionality of the order of imprisonment of Karnan by the apex court, the petition said, "It is requested that the applicant may please be enlarged on bail/parole till the said lacunae are remedied and constitutional supremacy restored."

Making the appeal through his lawyers, Karnan said, "The applicant is ready and willing to abide by any terms and conditions that may be imposed for granting bail/parole to him."

He appealed to Governor Kesri Nath Tripathi that he should "exercise the jurisdiction invested in your excellency and enlarge the prisoner Shri Justice CS Karnan on bail/parole in the interest of justice and equity". "The appeal has been sent by speed post to the governor," Karnan's counsel Mathew J Nedumpara said today.

"Copies of the representation have also been sent to the West Bengal chief minister, the home minister and the law minister of the state," Nedumpara told PTI over phone.

Karnan, who retired as a judge of the Calcutta High Court on June 12 as a fugitive, was arrested on June 20 from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu after evading the police for more than a month. 

Karnan, who was on a warpath with the Supreme Court for the last several months, has the dubious distinction of being the first sitting high court judge to be awarded a jail term by the apex court.

Despite several attempts, Karnan has failed to get any relief from the apex court's vacation benches which refused to hear his plea seeking a stay of its jail term order. His lawyers have also claimed to have approached President Pranab Mukherjee for exercising his power to stay the apex court's order, but no relief has come to the ex-judge so far.

After being sentenced to a six-month jail term, Karnan had on May 12 moved the apex court for relief, saying neither the high courts nor their judges, were "subordinate" to it.

He had sought recall of the apex court's order, contending he could not be held guilty of contempt of court. Karnan had said the Contempt of Courts Act was a "cathartic jurisprudence which belonged to the Dark Ages, the era of inquisition and torture, distinct from the classical Roman Law which constitutes the foundation of modern jurisprudence". 

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