Retired Calcutta high court judge Karnan walks out of jail lighter by 15kg

The Former judge of Calcutta high court was sentenced to six months imprisonment in June for contempt of court, following a long judicial standoff with Supreme Court judges.
Updated on Dec 20, 2017 03:11 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Kolkata | BySnigdhendu Bhattacharya

Former judge of Calcutta high court CS Karnan, the first serving judge in India to be sent to prison, was released from a jail in Kolkata on Wednesday after serving six months of imprisonment for contempt of the Supreme Court.

“He is in good health and spirits but has lost almost 15 kgs,” Peter Ramesh Kumar, a Chennai-based advocate and Karnan’s close associate, told the Hindustan Times.

The 62-year-old was sentenced to six months imprisonment in June for contempt of court, following a long judicial standoff with Supreme Court judges. In an unprecedented move, Karnan even “sentenced” the then chief justice of India, J S Khehar, and seven other Supreme Court judges to five years’ rigorous imprisonment.

A seven-judge bench of the top court sentenced him to six months imprisonment the very next day, following which Karnan went into hiding and stayed beyond the reach of the police for more than a month.

Karnan’s wife Saraswati and son Sugan received him outside the Presidency Correctional Home at 10am on Wednesday. The former judge’s close associate and advocate Mathew J Nedumpara was also present when he was released. They took Karnan straight to his residence in Kolkata’s satellite township New Town.

Sources at the jail said Karnan spent his entire sentence inside its hospital. The jail authorities did not risk keeping him in a cell as he was suffering from anxiety and ailments related to blood sugar and blood pressure, they said.

Jail sources and his family members told HT that the authorities treated him as a “special prisoner” and offered him all help in getting the books that he wanted to read.

“He spent his time in prison mostly in writing his autobiography, which is almost finished. He will start working on it after spending a few days with family and friends. We will start looking for a publisher after a few months,” Karnan’s son told HT.

“We’ll be in Kolkata for about 10 days to complete formalities related to his pension,” said his wife.

The timing of his release was kept secret from the media.

Karnan had the most unceremonious exit from the Calcutta high court when he retired on June 12 as a fugitive. He was arrested from Coimbatore on June 19 and lodged at the Presidency jail on June 21.

“He is ready to resume his battle for a corruption-free judiciary. We are eagerly waiting to see this man of impeccable honesty takes the forefront in the campaign,” Nedumpara said.

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