A team of Kolkata Police reached Chennai on Wednesday to take into custody Justice C S Karnan of Calcutta High Court, a day after the Supreme Court sentenced him to six-month imprisonment for “contempt of court”. Sources in Chennai police said the Kolkata team left the city by Wednesday evening for Kalahasti, a temple town that lies approximately 130 km north of Chennai, in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Karnan, who arrived from Kolkata on Tuesday, had reportedly left the state guesthouse in Chepauk here early on Wednesday morning.
A police source said although they had information that the judge had left the guesthouse, there was no confirmed report of his arrival in Kalahasti.
According to a senior Chennai police officer, a team of five officers, led by an officer of the director general (DG) rank, arrived from Kolkata on Wednesday morning to take Karnan into custody. “We do not know whether they had any clue on his whereabouts. We have provided them logistics, and they held meetings with senior Tamil Nadu police officers on procedures to arrest the HC judge,” the officer said.
Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh police are learnt to be coordinating the Kolkata Police team’s travel.
The senior officer said that they are providing logistical help and are careful in taking efforts to share information and facilitating the custody of the judge, as a similar arrest of a magistrate had forced a woman IPS officer to tender unconditional apology in Madras High Court three years ago.
“The then Superintendent of Police, Erode, R Ponni and two other officers had to apologise before the HC after she (Ponni) dared arrest a judicial magistrate in Nilgiri district for allegedly cheating a woman sub-inspector. Even after their apology, they faced the wrath of the court and (were) questioned for the delay in their apology,” the officer said.
A group of advocates Wednesday protested outside the state guesthouse here, contending that Karnan was being victimised, forcing the police to close the main gate of the guesthouse to avoid any untoward incident.