Justice CS Karnan, who has been untraceable since the Supreme Court had given him a six-month jail term, retired on Monday. He became the first High Court judge to have retired while still absconding, The Times of India reported.
Karnan had been appointed a Madras High Court judge in 2009, and was moved to the Calcutta High Court in 2016. He will be denied a formal farewell ceremony as he faces an arrest based on the Supreme Court’s order, the report added.
Karnan had in January 2017 accused several Supreme Court and High Court judges of discriminating against him because he is a Dalit. A contempt notice was issued against him in February for degrading the judiciary. The Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, had rejected his demand to be allowed to discharge his judicial duties. He was also directed by the Supreme Court to undergo medical tests to check his psychological condition, though had refused to participate in this.
On May 9, the Supreme Court had held the Calcutta High Court judge in contempt of court and had sentenced him to six months in prison. However, since the time the order was passed, Karnan has been untraceable. A team of the West Bengal Police has been stationed outside Karnan’s Chennai residence since May 10, but they have not been able to locate him yet.