Calcutta High Court Judge Justice CS Karnan, who is facing arrest for being held guilty under the Contempt of Courts Act, will today become the first judge of a high court to retire while being ‘absconding’.
Justice Karnan is facing arrest and has been absconding since May 9 when a seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court passed an unprecedented six-month arrest order against him.
On May 9, he was seen chatting with his visitors and reporters at the state guest house till a couple of hours after the top court’s arrest order. He then went underground without the knowledge of his personal security and protocol officials.
Taking a strong note of Justice Karnan’s controversial remarks against Supreme Court and Madras High Court judges, additional solicitor general Maninder Singh, senior advocate K K Venugopal and Rupinder Singh Suri said that he needs to be punished.
In its order today, the top court had also barred media outlets from publishing either the content of orders passed by Justice Karnan or any comment made by him.
While a team of West Bengal has been stationed in Chennai since May 10 to execute the Supreme Court directive, it has been unable to apprehend Justice Karnan yet.
The team took Tamil Nadu police help to visit various places, including Kalahasti in Andhra Pradesh, but they could not locate the judge. As on date, the apex court's order of arrest of Justice Karnan, therefore, remains unexecuted.
Because of the apex court’s order, Justice Karnan will not receive a formal farewell and will not get a chance to give his farewell speech at the court, becoming the first high court judge to miss out his farewell.
Justice Karnan courted controversy in January 2017 after he named 20 sitting and retired Supreme Court and High Court judges of being corrupt.
In May, a seven-judge bench sentenced the judge to six-months jail finding him guilty of contempt of court. The order came a day after Karnan had ordered the arrest of eight apex court judges.
He was the first to face the Supreme Court wrath and earn an order directing him to undergo psychiatric analysis for mental stability. He is, of course, first to be ordered arrested while holding the constitutional office of a high court judge.