New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a plea by former Calcutta high court judge C.S. Karnan, seeking bail and suspension of the six-month sentence awarded to him.
“We cannot override the earlier order of the seven judge bench, neither do we intend to," a vacation bench comprising of justices D.Y. Chandrachud and C.S. Kaul held.
Karnan, who was evading arrest for more than a month after the court sentenced him to six months’ imprisonment for contempt of court, was arrested in Coimbatore on Tuesday. The arrest was made eight days after his tenure as a high court judge came to an end.
On 9 May, Karnan was sentenced to six months of imprisonment, after he was held guilty of contempt of court. He is the first serving high court judge to be sent to prison for contempt.
The court directed the arrest to be “forthwith" for declining to undergo medical tests to determine the state of his mental health.
The court had taken suo motu (on its own motion) cognizance of Karnan’s misconduct in accusing members of the judiciary of nepotism, casteism and corruption when he served as a judge in the Madras high court. He was subsequently transferred to the Calcutta high court.
On 1 March, the apex court had directed Karnan to undergo a mental health checkup, observing that he may not be fit to defend himself.
Karnan had written to various dignitaries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the chief justice of India, the Union law minister and various sitting judges across high courts, making allegations of corruption against several sitting and retired judges in the country.