Karnan walks out of Presidency Jail after 6 months behind bars
Kolkata: Justice C S Karnan, who came into the limelight when he rebelled against the Supreme Court and the judiciary, was released on Wednesday from Kolkata's Presidency Jail after spending six months behind bars for contempt.
Justice Karnan, who is the first sitting High Court judge to have been sentenced to jail, holds other dubious distinctions. In 2011, he became the first judge of a High Court to move the National Commission for SCs and STs, complaining of harassment by fellow judges. The judge hit the headlines first when he accused his fellow colleagues in the Madras HC of caste discrimination since he was a Dalit. He also alleged that a fellow judge 'deliberately' touched him with his foot as he was a Dalit. In January 2014, Karnan crashed into another courtroom where a two-judge bench was hearing a PIL on the selection of judges. He then lashed out at the judiciary over unfair and biased appointment of judges and warned of filing an affidavit on the issue before the court.
Such actions on Justice Karnan's part prompted the Madras High Court to approach the Supreme Court seeking the transfer of the temperamental judge. Then Chief Justice of India CJ Sathasivam ordered the transfer of Karnan to Calcutta High Court. An enraged Karnan then put a stay order on his own transfer order and demanded a response from the CJI.
A bench of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Khehar, then directed the Madras HC to stop assigning cases to Karnan and eventually he had to make his way to the Calcutta HC.