Former Madras and Calcutta High Court Judge Justice CS Karnan has been arrested by Chennai Police from Avadi over allegedly abusive videos and issuing rape threats to the wives of judges. The Central Crime Branch of Chennai took the ex-judge into custody.
Three FIRs have been registered against former Justice Karnan over derogatory remarks allegedly made against women and the judiciary in videos uploaded online.
According to bar and bench, the former Judge was arrested from the headquarters of his political party, the Anti Corruption Dynamic Party. Justice Karnan will be taken to be remanded before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Egmore, and that he is likely to be lodged at Puzhal Prison II as a remand prisoner.
Earlier this week, Madras High Court had directed the personal presence of the Director-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police before Court on December 7, in a petition filed by the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, protesting the delay in taking criminal action against CS Karnan.
On November 10, the Madras High Court issued orders directing that derogatory remarks made by Karnan be blocked from social media.
Last Monday, Chennai Police told the Madras High Court that Karnan was interrogated twice after the issuance of notice under Section 41A, CrPC. During one such interrogation, the Police claimed that Karnan undertook to refrain from uploading such videos.
The Bench of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha, however, took note that the police appeared to have been selectively resorting to Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which allows the issuance of notice in lieu of arrest where the police are of the opinion that arrest is not required. The case was expected to be taken up on December 7 next.
In May 2017, CS Karnan became the first sitting High Court judge to be held guilty of criminal contempt of court. A constitution bench of the Supreme Court sentenced him to six months imprisonment for his multiple acts of public utterances against judges and interference with the administration of justice. As a judge, Karnan had also extraordinary acts like passing a judicial order to stay his own transfer and issuing an arrest warrant against Supreme Court judges.