Former Calcutta high court judge C S Karnan has been arrested by the Central Crime Branch of Chennai Police.(PTI Photo)
Former Calcutta high court judge C S Karnan has been arrested by the Central Crime Branch of Chennai Police.(PTI Photo)

Former HC judge C S Karnan arrested for insulting SC judges, women

Karnan has the dubious distinction of being the first serving high court judge to have been found guilty of contempt by the Supreme Court in 2017.
By Divya Chandrababu | Edited by Abhinav Sahay | Hindustan Times, Chennai
UPDATED ON DEC 02, 2020 05:20 PM IST

The central crime branch (CCB) in Chennai on Wednesday arrested C S Karnan, a former judge of the Madras and Calcutta high courts for passing defamatory remarks against women and several judges of the Supreme Court and high courts in his online videos.

He had first appeared before the CCB on November 26 for an enquiry. The CCB has registered a case against Karnan under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including Section 228 (intentional insult or interruption to public servant sitting in judicial proceeding), Section 509 (word or gesture intended to insult the modesty of any woman) and Section 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot).

A division bench of the Madras high court is hearing the case against Karnan. The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have sought criminal action against the former judge. The court, on Monday, had summoned the Chennai city commissioner of police and director general of police to be present for the hearing on December 7.

His interrogation began after the Madras high court directed the director-general of police to supervise the investigation and the city commissioner to monitor the probe into the case.

During the recent hearing in November, the state informed the court that they have blocked his videos from YouTube and are taking steps to block more content.

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The court had observed that Karnan’s “repeated utterances would undermine the dignity, reputation, honour and majesty of the Institution.”

Karnan is the first serving high court judge to have been found guilty of contempt by the Supreme Court in 2017 for allegations against judges. He served six months in a Kolkata jail and was released in December 2017.

Justice Karnan had previously denied any wrongdoing, saying he was just highlighting the upper caste bias in the higher judiciary in the country.

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