Police forces across cities scrambled on Wednesday to find and arrest Calcutta high court judge CS Karnan, a day after he was sentenced to six months in prison by the Supreme Court for contempt.
A five-member team of Kolkata Police reached Chennai in the morning to arrest the 61-year-old judge, who travelled to the Tamil Nadu capital on Monday night.
But sources told HT that Karnan left for the Andhra Pradesh temple town of Srikalahasti, about 120 kilometres from Chennai, on Wednesday morning. The judge is expected to be at the shrine at 4 pm, sources added.
The judge stayed the night at a guest house near central Chennai’s Chepauk and sources added that he hadn’t vacated the guest house. Kolkata Police were learnt to have reached out to Chennai counterparts.
This is the first time a serving judge would be arrested.
The police action appears to be the final stage of a months-long, and sometimes farcical, standoff with the top court that saw the two sides issuing a string of orders against each other.
Karnan’s arrest orders had come a day after he sentenced Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and six other judges of the Supreme Court to five years in jail under the SC/ST act.
Karnan retires next month. The Supreme Court has ordered the media to refrain from reporting any of Karnan’s statements.