Ex-Calcutta HC Judge CS Karnan released from Jail

Justice CS Karnan

Kolkata, December 20: Former Calcutta High Court judge CS Karnan was released from prison on Wednesday after serving six months of imprisonment awarded to him by the Supreme Court for contempt of court.

“Justice Karnan was released from Presidency jail at around 10.30 a.m. He has gone to his residence in Rajarhat (on the eastern fringes of Kolkata)” said former judge’s lawyer Matthews J Nedumpara.

The 62-year-old judge was on May 9 handed out the prison term by the apex court.

After remaining untraceable for over a month, Karnan was arrested from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu on 20th June by the West Bengal CID officials after he evaded the police for over a month.

The former judge had been evading arrest since May 9 following the Supreme Court’s verdict sentencing him to six months imprisonment.

In February, the Supreme Court issued a contempt of court notice against him for allegedly degrading the judicial institution.

A seven-judge Bench, led by then Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, heard then Attorney-General Mukul Rohtagi who said that Justice Karnan should face contempt proceedings for his “scurrilous” letters against sitting and retired judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court.

The seven-judge Supreme Court Bench in its judgment stated that “the actions of Justice CS Karnan constituted the grossest and gravest action of contempt of court. He is therefore liable to be punished for his unsavory actions and behaviour.”

 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.