In what came as a major setback for the Kolkata High Court judge CS Karnan, the Supreme Court had on May 9 found him guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him to six months imprisonment. Two days later, it is being reported that Kolkata Police is unable to trace Justice Karnan.
According to several media reports, Justice Karnan, who has become the first sitting judge to face jail, might have fled the country in a bid to evade his arrest; however, his lawyer claimed that he has not and was currently in Chennai.
As per another report, he has expressed his desire to meet the President of India.
Justice CS Karnan had apparently checked out of a Chennai guest house without even paying his bills after the Supreme Court order. There is no confirmation about his exact location. He was reportedly going to visit Kalahasti in Andhra Pradesh. Justice Karnan’s close aide W Peter Ramesh Kumar told The Indian Express that there is a possibility that he might have fled to “Nepal or Bangladesh” and that he may have taken the road.
“When he was sentenced to prison, what happened to that petition and charges he raised against SC judges? His petition is not yet rejected too. Justice Karnan will file a review petition in SC after he gets a clear picture. He demands the union government to file an appeal for him as he was sentenced by SC without a trial,” Kumar told the daily.
“We are of the unanimous view that Justice CS Karnan committed contempt of court, contempt of judiciary and the process. The sentence shall be executed and he be taken into custody forthwith,” a seven-judge Constitution bench of Supreme Court had said.
Responding to the verdict, Justice Karnan had affirmed that he will not surrender and the apex court had no “constitutional authority” to pass such an order against him.