SC refuses to suspend retired Calcutta HC judge CS Karnan’s 6-month jail term
CS Karnan, who had triggered an unprecedented face-off in the judiciary over alleged corruption, was arrested in Coimbatore on Tuesday.india Updated: Jun 21, 2017 20:01 IST
A Supreme Court bench refused on Wednesday to give bail or suspend the jail term handed to former high court justice CS Karnan, who now will need to be in prison till at least July 3 when the Constitution bench that convicted him returns from vacation.
Karnan was captured in Coimbatore on Tuesday after being on the run since May 9 when the Supreme Court handed an unprecedented six-month jail sentence to him for contempt of court.
“We cannot override the earlier order of the seven judge bench, neither do we intend to,” said a Supreme Court vacation bench of justices YV Chandrachud and SK Kaul while rejecting Karnan’s bail plea.
The bench asked Karnan’s advocate, M Nedumpara, to approach the Constitution bench, which will sit only after the summer vacation period ends on July 3.
“You have to mention the matter before the Chief Justice of India”.
The court also dismissed Karnan’s plea to suspend the jail term till the bail matter was heard by a bench of 7 judges.
Karnan retired on June 12, the first senior judge to do so as a fugitive.
Supreme Court had last month directed West Bengal police to arrest him, but he went absconding soon after.
His sentencing of Karnan came after a months-long, and sometimes farcical, standoff with the top court that saw the two sides issuing a string of orders against each other.
The saga began with Karnan writing to the Prime Minister and President accusing judges of the supreme court and the high court of corruption.
In response, the Supreme Court issued a suo motu contempt case against him and summoned him to appear before a seven-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar.
The top court also ordered Calcutta high court, where he was transferred from the Madras HC, to not assign any case to Karnan. No judicial body was to recognise his orders, it said.
What followed was unprecedented. For every order issued by Supreme Court, Karnan passed a counter order, even, at one point, ordering arrest of the top court judges.
He has repeatedly claimed he has being victimised because he was a Dalit.
The top court had barred the media from reporting anything on Karnan or quoting him.