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Supreme Court Sentences Justice Karnan to Six Months Imprisonment

09 May 2017

The Supreme Court on Tuesday held the Calcutta High Court judge Justice CS Karnan guilty in the contempt of court case against him, and sentenced him to six months in prison.

The SC judges are hearing a contempt petition against Justice Karnan after he had levelled allegations of corruption against the Madras High Court Chief Justice and other judges and refused to appear before the SC despite summons.

The 12-page "order" said the accused have "committed" an offence "punishable under the SC/ST Atrocities Act of 1989 and amended Act of 2015". He had on Monday went on to pass orders awarding the seven judges of the apex court to five year jail term for violation of the SC/ST Act.

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The bench also said there was no question about the visit medical board having visited him (Karnan).

"We are of the unanimous view that Justice Karnan is in contempt of this court and of judiciary and judicial process of grievous nature".

This is the first time in India's judicial history that a sitting judge has been sentenced to imprisonment. The court also banned the media from highlighting Justice Karnan's statements and "orders".

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Justice Karnan also added another supreme court judge Justice R Banumathi in the list against whom the order was passed for having restrained his judicial and administrative work along with CJI Khehar.

The stand-off dates from January, when Justice Karnan wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging up the names of 20 "corrupt judges" and three senior law officials. Thereafter, the doctors from the Calcutta Pavlov Hospital for Mental Patient visited Justice CS Karnan's residence and they were accompanied by police.

The apex court had earlier directed for medical examination of Justice Karnan to ascertain if he was fit to defend himself in the contempt proceedings initiated against him. Karnan is due to retire in June this year.

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Supreme Court Sentences Justice Karnan to Six Months Imprisonment