Judge retires without SC order on his jail being executed

NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: Calcutta High Court judge Justice C S Karnan, who is facing six months imprisonment for contempt of the Supreme Court, retired on Monday, probably escaping the odium of a sitting judge being arrested while in office.
Justice Karnan, who was transferred to Kolkata after he had kicked up a row by raking up issues against other judges of the Madras High Court, including the Chief Justice, has been untraceable ever since the apex court sentenced him for contempt on May 9.
A seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar held Karnan guilty of contempt and ordered six months imprisonment for him.
A team of West Bengal police had rushed to Chennai and other places in Tamil Nadu looking for him but without success.
Probably the police may lay its hands on the controversial judge now that he has retired.
Reacting to the situation, senior counsel and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Dushyant Dave said that “it reflects failure on the part of the police in not having found him… It shows complete lack of respect of the Supreme Court by the Executive.” “Right or wrong the Supreme Court judgment has to be implemented and the state is fully responsible for the lapses and must be held accountable,” Dave said, pointing out that “The whole saga reflects the sorry state of affairs in the judiciary.”
However, well-known lawyer Kamini Jaiswal says that Justice Karnan may have escaped arrest so far but now he will be arrested.
Unlike what happens in the case of the common man, in the case of Justice Karnan they have to follow procedures and take the help of Tamil Nadu police in arresting him, Jaiswal said.
“They (West Bengal police) have to follow procedure” and can’t be seen to be “high handed” as Justice Karnan knows the law and there are lawyers around him.
Justice Karnan had left Kolkata on May 9 itself and remained elusive thereafter even though Director- General of West Bengal Police constituted teams of police personnel which went to Chennai and other places looking for him.
He moved the top court for the suspension of his sentence and sought review of the May 9 order but he did not get any relief. His plea for review was declined on technical grounds without its coming before the seven judges bench. — IANS