SC orders 6-month jail term for Justice Karnan

Calcutta HC judge found guilty of contempt of court
Report by: 
9 May 2017

In an unprecedented order, the Supreme Court today held controversial Calcutta High Court judge Justice C S Karnan guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him to jail for six months, ordering that he be taken into custody forthwith.
A seven-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, said: "We are of the unanimous view that Justice C S Karnan committed contempt of court, contempt of judiciary and the process." This is the first time that a sitting High Court judge is being sent to jail by the Supreme Court on charges of contempt. The bench, which also comprised Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur, P C Ghose and Kurian Joseph, said it was satisfied that Justice Karnan be sentenced for six months in jail. "The sentence shall be executed and he be taken into custody forthwith," the bench said. The bench also banned the media, both print and electronic, from publishing the contents of further orders passed by Justice Karnan.
At the outset of the hearing, senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for West Bengal, said in compliance of apex court's earlier direction, a medical board along with the DGP and police personnel had gone to Justice Karnan's place but he gave a letter saying he was fit and of a sound mind. Dwivedi read out the letter to the bench. ASG Maninder Singh told the bench that Justice Karnan knows what he is doing and he needs to be punished for contempt of court as he has passed several orders against the judges of the apex court.
Senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for Registrar General of Madras High Court, said that if Justice Karnan is sent to jail, it would create a blemish of a sitting judge being sent to jail for contempt.