The hunt that began on May 9 for Calcutta High Court judge C.S. Karnan (since retired) came to an end on Tuesday, when personnel from West Bengal and Tamil Nadu police took custody of him from a resort at Malumichampatti near Coimbatore, between Podanur and Madukkarai. Police sources confirmed that he was being taken to Chennai by a late night flight.
Six-month jail term
Justice Karnan was the first sitting High Court judge to be awarded imprisonment for six months by the Supreme Court on May 9.
A seven-member Bench, led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, found him guilty of contempt and awarded the sentence. Since then, he had been on the run, evading arrest.
His arrest comes after his retirement eight days ago.
Police in Coimbatore became aware of the presence of the judge only after the West Bengal and State police reached Justice Karnan’s place of stay.
The process of arrest proved to be really difficult, sources said, with the ex-judge threatening them with legal consequences, though the team said they were there to implement the order of the Supreme Court.
Police teams were able to zero in on him after he made a couple of calls from a mobile phone.
Coimbatore Rural police teams led by Superintendent of Police R.V. Ramya Bharathi, assisted in the operation. There was a legal consultation on whether a prisoner transit warrant was required for transporting him out of Coimbatore.
Stayed in Kochi?
Earlier, Justice Karnan is suspected to have stayed at a private resort at Panangadu in Kochi from June 11 to 14. The management of the Panangadu resort claimed they had no idea about his identity.
They admitted that three persons had occupied a room on June 11 and the booking was made in the name of one A.M. Raj of Choodi Amman Street, Chennai. Only two persons ventured out of the room while the third never came out during the four days of stay at the resort, they said.