Justice Karnan arrested: Here are all his controversies

Judge CS Karnan arrest came six days after his retirement on June 12. Karnan became the first high court judge to have retired as a fugitive

Written by Sonakshi Awasthi | New Delhi | Updated: June 20, 2017 10:31 pm
justice karnan, justice karnan arrested, cs karnan arrested, calcutta high court judge arrested, supreme court, coimbatore, tamil nadu, india news, indian express Justice Karnan (File Photo)

Former Calcutta High Court judge CS Karnan was on Tuesday arrested by the West Bengal CID from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. His arrest came six days after his retirement on June 12. Karnan became the first high court judge to have retired as a fugitive.

Here is a look at the controversies involving Justice Karnan

2011- Justice Karnan writes to the National Commision for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) alleging caste-based discrimination from his fellow judges at the Madras High Court. He further claims that a fellow judge intentionally touched his feet at a marriage function.

2014- During a courtroom hearing at the Madras High Court on a PIL relating to appointment of judges, Justice Karnan alleges unfair selection of judges. He writes to the joint registrar of the RTI regarding the unfair appointment of judges and faces wrath of 20 judges of the Madras High Court for the allegations. Following this, a request was made to the then CJI Justice P Sathasivam for Karnan’s transfer from Madras High Court.

2015- After Chief Justice of Madras High Court Sanjay Kishan Kaul forms a committee to interview lawyers for appointment as civil judges, Karnan files a suo motu writ petition following which the division bench of the high court stays Kauls order. He then also threatens the Chief Justice of filing a contempt case against him for interference following the stay order. The Madras HC registry moves the Supreme Court demanding a stay on Justice Karnan’s order. Justice Karnan writes several letters to the CJI, the President and the Law Minister questioning the financial irregularities incurred by the Chief Justice and the Registrar General of the Madras High Court.

2016- Justice Karnan is transferred to the Calcutta High Court via order of the Supreme Court. Justice Karnan immediately puts a stay order on his transfer order and demands the CJI file a response and not interfere in his jurisdiction. Quashing the stay order of Justice Karnan, the Supreme Court directs the Madras High Court to discharge Justice Karnan from any work and put a blanket stay on all his orders.

2017- During Demonetisation, Justice Karnan writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing 20 judges of the high court and Supreme Court of corruption and hoarding of illegal money. As a last resort, the Supreme Court files suo motu contempt proceedings against Justice Karnan. CJI J S Khehar along with seven other senior judges issues him a notice. All judicial and administrative work of Justice Karnan is put to a standstill. Barring his practice, Justice Karnan alleges CJI and his bench of an upper caste bias and the court order as a caste-based discrimination amounting to an offence under the SC and ST (Prevention of) Atrocities Act.

Justice Karnan does not attend the contempt proceedings and asks for Rs. 14 crore as the compensatory amount from the seven judge bench.

On March 10, Supreme Court issues a bailable warrant against Justice Karnan. During the hearing, Karnan announces that he will not be challenging the court to arrest him. Here the Supreme Court questions Justice Karnan’s state of mind and requests him to furnish a medical certificate to prove that he is of sound mind.

Thereafter, Karnan orders the seven-judge bench to appear at his residential court on insulting him in an open court. He further goes on to issue bailable warrants against the seven judges, orders a CBI probe on his caste-based allegations, directs the Airport Authority to restrain the seven judges from flying abroad and convicts the bench under the SC/ST Act for five years.

Justice Karnan is at present guilty of contempt and has been sentenced to six months imprisonment; restraining the media to print his statements.

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  1. M
    Mahan N
    Jun 21, 2017 at 3:17 pm
    Justice Karnan's real name is Karunanidhi. He assumed the name of Karnan with reference to his native village of Karnatham. No Dalit child in the 1950s was given the name Karunanidhi. In those days, such names were given only to children of upper castes. His father's name is Swaminathan, also not a name given to Dalit children and he was a respected Headmaster of the school where Karunanidhi studied as a child.
    1. Nagaraja Mysuru Raghupathi
      Jun 21, 2017 at 7:41 am
      Whistle blower Dalit Karnan silenced by arrest for seeking enquiry of corrupt judges , why not enquiry arrest of corrupt , criminal judges who have done gravest crimes endangering national security ? Khehar ?
      1. Amar Jit Singh Goraya-Australia
        Jun 21, 2017 at 5:59 am
        This is totally wrong In Australia there is no contempt of court law The British made contempt of court law in India only to suppress Indians A Sydney paper wrote recently against the judges No body took any notice of it Once a judge gave a very minor punishment to the rapists of a particular religion There was a hue and cry against the judge Parliament took notice of it and amended the law The rapists were given severe punishment What is the crime of Justice Karnan ? He only expressed his ideas that is No crime
        1. S
          Jun 21, 2017 at 4:11 am
          Most of the judiciary in the country are corrupt. Not all. There are some very good and clean judges but most can be influenced by one or other means. Same is case with lawyers!!
          1. Amar Jit Singh Goraya-Australia
            Jun 21, 2017 at 6:01 am
            Indian judges are corrupt They take bribes and have no right to punish Justice Krnan
            1. J
              Jun 21, 2017 at 1:11 pm
              As I was once told by a former high court judge "How many rich people have been hanged since independence - Zero" That's our country's 'judicial system' in a nutshell. Sad but true. Hat's off to Justice Karnan for trying to change things, unfortunately he is paying the price. We as a nation are still waiting to see the contents of the sealed envelope containing the names of former corrupt Chief Justice's of India presented to the court by Prashant Bhushan years ago... I wonder when that will happen haha.