The judge, through his lawyers, had moved the apex court seeking recall of the May 9 order of the seven-judge bench which had held him guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him to six months imprisonment by ordering the West Bengal police to take him into custody forthwith. He has the dubious distinction of being the first sitting high court judge to be awarded a jail term by the apex court.
"The Supreme Court has already ordered a jail term of six months for him", the officer said.
The failure of West Bengal police to arrest Justice Karnan in the last one a half months has saved a situation of a serving judge of a High Court being arrested and sent to jail.
"He was arrested somewhere in Coimbatore about an hour ago", senior West Benga Police official Raj Kanojia told IANS.
The letter got him into trouble with the judiciary, and the Supreme Court summoned him in February after issuing a suo moto contempt order against him.
The plea was not entertained by the President and finally, on June 11, the controversial HC judge retired from his position while on the run.
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Karnan became the first sitting judge to face the Supreme Court wrath and earn an order directing him to undergo psychiatric analysis for mental stability. He is likely to be brought to Chennai tonight by flight and will be taken to Kolkata on Wednesday morning.
Police teams were able to zero in on the most elusive Judge after he made a couple of calls from his mobile phone. Advocate Mathews J Nedumpara had said that he, along with other counsel representing the High Court judge and his son CS Sugan, met Ashok Mehta, the Secretary to the President, and handed over an application for suspension of the sentence under Article 72 of the Constitution. His plea for review was declined on technical grounds without its coming before the seven judges bench.
Besides Chief Justice Khehar, other judges on the bench were Justice Dipak Misra, Justice J. Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Kurian Joseph. A customary farewell by the high court administration to the retiring judge could not be held as Justice Karnan was absconding at that time.
Asked about clearance of Justice Karnan's retirement benefits, Majumdar said, "All formalities will be completed as per the law".
The apex court had earlier even asked the chief justice of the Madras high court not to assign him any judicial work.
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