Supreme Court of India today sentenced Justice CS Karnan to six months jail by the as the top court held him guilty of contempt and ordered the Kolkata police chief to arrest him. The media was also banned by the court from highlighting Justice Karnan’s statements and “orders”.
Prior to announcing the first-ever jail sentence for a judge, the Supreme Court rejected an argument around “the blemish” cast by sentencing a judge.
“He has to be seen as a citizen of India and not as a judge of any court. There is no colour or no judge , we cannot distinguish the contempt , and hence not decide just on the fact that he is a sitting judge that we can’t take action against him,” said the Chief Justice of India, JS Khehar.
Yesterday, the controversial Calcutta High Court judge had “sentenced” the Chief Justice and seven judges of the Supreme Court to five years in jail.
Last week, Justice Karnan had turned away a team of psychiatrists who had arrived at his home along with the police for a medical examination ordered by the Supreme court.
The 61-year-old judge was accused of contempt of court after he named 20 “corrupt judges” of the country earlier this year and sought an investigation alleging corruption in the judiciary. He also urged an inquiry on them and expressed the same in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
As the Supreme Court transferred Justice Karnan from the Madras High Court to Kolkata, Justice Karnan said that he was victimised on account of being a Dalit.
The defiant judge refused to show up in the Supreme Court or submit to its orders. Instead, he fell into a routine of matching every Supreme Court order with one of his own, pronounced at his “home court”.
At a hearing on March 31, the Chief Justice had raised questions about the judge’s mental health.