Justice Karnan sends cops on wild goose chase

CS Karnan left for Chennai on early morning flight: Bengal Police

The Calcutta High Court judge was sentenced to six months' jail on Tuesday by the Supreme Court.

As the police from Kolkata, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh coordinated on their mission to find the "missing" judge, there were unconfirmed reports that he had left the country and taken a flight "either to Bangladesh or Nepal or Singapore from Chennai". The bench agreed to look into the petition.

The face-off between Justice Karnan and the Supreme Court started earlier this year after he wrote a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi containing names of 20 "corrupt judges" and three senior law officials, urging him to act.

Nedumpara also said 12 advocates on record had refused to represent Justice Karnan.

Besides, the apex court had directed that no authority should take cognisance of any orders passed by him. The Bengal police team has been coordinating with their Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh counterparts and is on a lookout for the judge.

The doctors had gone there to conduct a medical examination of him on the orders of the Supreme Court on May 1.

Justice Karnan appeared before the court on March 31 in connection with the contempt proceeding, becoming the first high court judge to do so in the history of Indian judiciary.

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Karnan had earlier turned away a team of doctors after the Supreme Court ordered a psychiatric evaluation to ascertain if he was mentally ill.

The Karnan episode also represents a failure of the collegium system-Karnan is a product of it as he was approved by the Madras HC collegium from which two of the judges went on to become Supreme Court judges.

Tension prevailed for a while when a group of lawyers protested outside the guest house, alleging that Justice Karnan was being victimised.

Justice Karnain belongs to a Dalit community.

A spokesman for Kolkata police confirmed that Karnan had not yet been arrested. The apex court has been resistant to the idea of a transparent National Judicial Appointments Committee, even though at least one of its judges is against the collegium system.

He tagged the apex court judges as "accused" for not being present.

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