Calcutta HC Judge CS Karnan Gets 6 Months Imprisonment

The Supreme Court sentenced Calcutta High Court judge Justice CS Karnan to six months imprisonment for contempt of court.

Karnan is the first sitting judge of a higher court in judicial history to be sent to jail.

The court has directed the West Bengal DGP to ensure his immediate arrest. Karnan is currently in Chennai and is residing at the state guest house. He is likely to be there until May 11.

What was the Issue ?

The apex court had taken suo motu cognisance of various letters written by Justice Karnan against judges of Madras High Court and the Supreme Court, and restrained him from exercising administrative and judicial power from February 8.

Justice Karnan had issued a suo motu order against seven judges, directing them to “appear” before him on April 28 for “violating” Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. They did not appear before him.

Karnan had sentenced Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and seven other SC judges to five-year rigorous imprisonment after holding them guilty under the SC/ST Atrocities Act-1989 and amended Act of 2015.

In his order, Justice Karnan imposed sentences of five years each and a fine of Rs one lakh on three counts, under sub-sections (1)(m), (1)(r) and (1)(u) of Section 3 of the SC/ST Atrocities Act.

Justice Karnan directed that all the three sentences would run concurrently and said that if the fines were not paid, they would “undergo further six months of imprisonment.”

Karnan is due to retire in June this year.