Justice Karnan sends cops on wild goose chase

Just a day after the Supreme Court ordered his arrest, Calcutta High Court judge C S Karnan is now untraceable as police teams from West Bengal, Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh have failed to locate him. "We have no idea if he will reach the temple tomorrow", the official said. Local news channels also reported that two mobile phones belonging to Karnan were switched off, lending weight to the argument that he had fled.

Although media and Chennai police were told that Justice Karnan had left the Chepauk government guest house on Wednesday morning to visit Kalahasti, only his cellphone had travelled to Kalahasti while he took a direction towards north, Kumar said. Officials of the guest house feigned ignorance about the whereabouts of the judge who shocked the nation on Monday by sentencing the Chief Justice of India and the seven members of the SC Bench for five years' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs1,00,000 each under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 and the Amended Act 2015.

NDTV quoted those close to him as saying that Justice CS Karnan wants to meet President Pranab Mukherjee and plans to challenge his sentence.

Taking into account the importance of the fugitive, the West Bengal Police team is led by Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purkayastha.

They, however, returned empty-handed in the evening. The cops on Wednesday spoke to Manik Raj, another lawyer of Justice Karnan, who was staying at the same guest house.

The Calcutta High Court judge flew to Chennai on Tuesday morning, hours before the Supreme Court punished him for contempt. "The sentence shall be executed and he be taken into custody forthwith", the bench had said on Tuesday.

On January 23, 2017, Justice Karnan had published an open letter to the prime minister naming "an initial list" of 20 sitting and retired Supreme Court and High Court judges, accusing them of corruption.

  • Carolyn Briggs