Chennai: Justice CS Karnan, who has been missing for two days amid attempts to arrest him, has asked the Supreme Court to recall its order sentencing him to six months in jail for contempt. The Calcutta High Court judge has challenged the constitutional validity of contempt of court charges on him.
When his lawyer appeared in the Supreme Court, Chief Justice JS Khehar questioned, where is the judge?
Justice Karnan is being chased by the police of three states while unconfirmed reports this morning suggested he had left the country.
The Calcutta High Court judge was sentenced to jail on Tuesday by the Supreme Court – a first in the history of Indian judiciary.
Hours before the ruling, Justice Karnan had taken a very early flight from Kolkata to Chennai and checked himself into a state guest house. The judge left the guest house yesterday, reportedly without clearing his bills, and was to travel to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh to visit a temple in Srikalahasthi.
When a police team from Kolkata arrived at the guest house, they did not find either the judge or the two lawyers who had accompanied him.
The team then travelled to Andhra Pradesh but came back empty-handed.
The 61-year-old was found guilty of contempt by a seven-judge constitution bench, including Chief Justice JS Khehar, after he named 20 judges he said were “corrupt” earlier this year, and wrote to several people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking for an investigation.
The top court has banned the media from reporting any of his statements or rulings; Justice Karnan has defied the Supreme Court at every step by coming out with his own “rulings” against the seven judges, matching them order-for-order.
Soon after the jail sentence was pronounced, Justice Karnan called the media to his room in the Chennai guest house and hit out at the top court.