Chennai Police Arrest Ex-Judge C.S. Karnan for ‘Offensive’ Remarks on Judges, Women in Judiciary – The Wire

Chennai News

New Delhi: The Chennai police on Wednesday arrested Justice C.S. Karnan for making allegedly objectionable and offensive comments against judges, for issuing rape threats to wives of judges, and passing sexually-coloured remarks against women lawyers and members of court staff.

The cyber crime wing of the Chennai police, on October 28, had registered a case against the former judge of the Calcutta high court for these remarks.

The arrest of the former judge by the central crime branch of the Chennai police comes in connection with a petition filed by the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu in October with the Madras high court requesting for the registration of a first information report (FIR) and initiation of appropriate proceedings against Karnan for making comments deemed objectionable. The issue came to light after videos surfaced online in October showing Karnan making these comments.

On December 1, Tuesday, the Madras high court issued orders to the state director general of police (DGP) and Chennai police commissioner to personally appear before it on December 7 to inform the court about the progress of the investigation against Karnan, according to a report by LiveLaw.

Earlier, the Tamil Nadu police in its counter-affidavit informed the court that they had conducted two rounds of investigation of the accused. However, the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu alleged that despite Karnan admitting to have committed the alleged offence, no action was taken to arrest him.

The Council had alleged that while a ‘second notice of appearance’ had been issued under Section 41-A of the Criminal Procedure Code to the former judge, Karnan had not been arrested even then.

Accusing police of inaction and calling the probe by a special investigation officer (as claimed by the police) was mere “eyewash”, the Council had demanded a special investigation team be constituted by “efficient officers” to investigate the case. The court then directed the DGP and Chennai police commissioner on Tuesday to appear before it on December 7.

On November 10, the division bench of Justice M. Sathyanarayanan and Justice R. Hemalatha had directed the Tamil Nadu government and the state police to block URLs of videos featuring the derogatory remarks made by Karnan on Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube.

A group of women lawyers of the Madras high court had written to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) S. A. Bobde in October requesting action against Karnan for his comments.

In May 2017, 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 in jail for his repeated utterances against the judiciary.