Former Calcutta High Court judge CS Karnan requested West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi for parole, PTI reported on Monday. In a letter to the governor, Karnan urged Tripathi to use his jurisdiction in the matter as his arrest was “unconstitutional”. He was lodged at Presidency Jail on June 21 and is undergoing treatment at the SSKM Hospital following complaints of chest pain on June 22.
“The related letter has already been posted to the Governor,” his lawyer, Mathews J Nedumpara, told The Hindu. The petition states that the order against him was passed without framing a charge and without giving him a chance to defend himself. “Even a devil is entitled to a hearing, an advocatus diabolic,” Live Law quoted the plea.
The former judge’s lawyer said his client was seeking parole on legal and health grounds. “Justice Karnan needs treatment,” Nedumpara said. “He is seeking parole for medical reasons also.”
On June 21, the Supreme Court had refused to suspend Karnan’s six-month jail term in a contempt case and maintained that he must serve the entire sentence. “His medical tests were completed at the airport and he was taken straightaway to the jail,” PTI had quoted an unidentified police official as saying.
Karnan, who had been absconding since May 9, was apprehended on June 20 from a house in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. To escape arrest, he had checked into resorts under false names and switched cellphones to avoid being tracked, according to NDTV.
The 62-year-old’s term as a High Court judge ended while he had evaded arrest. The Supreme Court convicted him of contempt for accusing top court judges of corruption, but Karnan has maintained that he was being targeted for being a Dalit. The apex court bench had also questioned Karnan’s mental health on multiple occasions.