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Political colour being added to issue; TN police seemingly not cooperating with WB counterpart

Calcutta High Court’s Justice CS Karnan, who has been sentenced to six months in prison by the Supreme Court’s constitution bench for contempt, seems to have decided not to surrender.

Till the time of writing this report, the judge had not been arrested, with a posse of Kolkata Police personnel camping in Chennai, waiting for the return of the judge from Andhra Pradesh or wherever he has travelled to.  The judge’s whereabouts were not known.

In an interaction with India Legal on May 13, Karnan’s lawyer Peter Ramesh Kumar clearly stated “We decided not to surrender.” Kumar is in the bar at the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court, Karnan’s original court. He refused to elaborate on the reason for this decision.

Kumar, however, has expectedly added a political colour to the issue. He said: “Karnan is protected by (Tamil Nadu) Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. So the Tamil Nadu police have not been cooperating with its West Bengal counterpart. The police are checking at all check points, into foreigners’ cars and even some embassies.”

The Karnan issue has already created a constitutional crisis, with the Supreme Court issuing the first-ever jailing of a sitting judge of a high court. Over and above, Karnan has steadfastly refused to give in to the law.

He has consistently claimed that he was being discriminated against for being a Dalit and this, among other reasons, had deterred the apex court from taking a final decision on the errant judge.

A review petition against the sentence, sent to the apex court by the judge, was not accepted by the registry of the court because no Advocate on Record (AOR) would sign on it. A lawyer (not an AOR) tried to present the petition to the bench directly, but the bench asked him to leave.

India Legal Bureau

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