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CS Karnan tried to apologise in contempt of court case, but SC staffers did not oblige, says lawyer

The controversial Calcutta High Court judge’s counsel also appealed for a stay on the arrest warrant issued against his client.

Controversial Calcutta High Court judge CS Karnan’s lawyer on Friday claimed his client had tried to issue an unconditional apology over his dispute with the Supreme Court, but that the apex court’s registry staff did not allow him to do so, ANI reported. Karnan’s counsel, Mathews J Nedumpara, also appealed for a stay order on the arrest warrant issued against Karnan, based on contempt of court charges.

The Supreme Court, however, asked Karnan’s representative to file an application which will be heard when the judges are available, ANI reported.

On Thursday, Karnan’s lawyer had told the Supreme Court that the judge was “very much in Chennai” after a police team deployed to arrest him was not able to find him, PTI reported. A five-judge bench had also agreed to consider Karnan’s plea seeking relief in the contempt of court case.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had held Karnan guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him to six months in prison.

The lawyer revealed Karnan’s whereabouts after the Tamil Nadu and West Bengal police were unable to find him. Earlier, reports had suggested that he had left the country. The police team had even travelled to Andhra Pradesh based on information that Karnan had moved on to Srikalahasti, according to Deccan Chronicle.

The tussle between Karnan and his colleagues has been on for months now. The Calcutta High Court judge had accused several judges in High Courts and the Supreme Court of discriminating against him because he is a Dalit, after which the top court had ordered a medical test to be conducted on him to ascertain if he was mentally sound. He will retire in June.

Karnan had been issued a contempt notice on February 9 for degrading the judiciary and making allegations of corruption against Supreme Court judges. The SC bench had rejected his demand to be allowed to discharge his judicial duties, holding that the 61-year-old High Court judge was not in a clear state of mind. It had issued a bailable warrant against him on March 10.

Karnan had summoned the judges to his “residential court” on April 13, claiming that they had insulted him in open court when they had questioned his mental health during a hearing on March 31.

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