Justice Karnan arrested in Coimbatore by West Bengal police

Justice C S Karnan. File photo   | Photo Credit: PTI

The hunt that began on May 9 for Calcutta High Court judge C.S. Karnan (since retired) came to an end on Tuesday, when personnel from West Bengal and Tamil Nadu police took custody of him from a resort at Malumichampatti near Coimbatore, between Podanur and Madukkarai.

Police sources confirmed that he was being taken to Chennai by a late night flight.

Six-month jail term

Justice Karnan was the first sitting High Court judge to be awarded imprisonment for six months by the Supreme Court on May 9.

A seven-member Bench, led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, found him guilty of contempt and awarded the sentence. Since then, he had been on the run, evading arrest.

His arrest comes after his retirement eight days ago.

Police in Coimbatore became aware of the presence of the judge only after the West Bengal and State police reached Justice Karnan’s place of stay.

The process of arrest proved to be really difficult, sources said, with the ex-judge threatening them with legal consequences, though the team said they were there to implement the order of the Supreme Court.

Police teams were able to zero in on him after he made a couple of calls from a mobile phone.

Coimbatore Rural police teams led by Superintendent of Police R.V. Ramya Bharathi, assisted in the operation.

There was a legal consultation on whether a prisoner transit warrant was required for transporting him out of Coimbatore.

Stayed in Kochi?

Earlier, Justice Karnan is suspected to have stayed at a private resort at Panangadu in Kochi from June 11 to 14.

The management of the Panangadu resort claimed they had no idea about his identity.

They admitted that three persons had occupied a room on June 11 and the booking was made in the name of one A.M. Raj of Choodi Amman Street, Chennai. Only two persons ventured out of the room while the third never came out during the four days of stay at the resort, they said.

Asked whether they could not recognise Justice Karnan, the Panangadu resort management said that the staff had little idea about the retired judge. The employees also never felt anything suspicious about the person, who remained indoors throughout the period of stay, they said. The management also claimed that they were not in a position to recover the CCTV visuals in view of the lack of adequate back-up facility. A police team had reached the resort and were collecting details about the identity of the three persons when this report was filed. Kochi Police Commissioner M.P. Dinesh said that they had not received any lookout notice till date against Justice Karnan from the investigating officials. No such inquiry was carried out as the investigating team had not passed any information in this regard, he said. On the day, the SC awarded him imprisonment, Justice Karnan left Kolkata and reached Chennai.

(With inputs from G. Krishnakumar in Kochi)

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 1:40:42 AM |

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