The Chennai Police on Wednesday arrested former High Court judge CS Karnan for making offensive remarks against a woman judge and the wives of Supreme Court judges in videos posted online, Live Law reported.
Karnan’s arrest came a day after the Madras High Court directed the director general of police and the Chennai police commissioner to appear before it on December 7 and provide information about the case.
The court had been hearing a petition filed by the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu, seeking the registration of a first information report against Karnan for his remarks.
The former judge had been charged under provisions of the Information Technology Act, the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Woman Act and three sections of the Indian Penal Code on October 27, after a lawyer from the Madras High Court had filed a complaint against him.
A week before that, 10 lawyers from the Bar of Madras High Court had requested Chief Justice of India SA Bobde to intervene in the case and stop the circulation of the controversial videos. The lawyers alleged that they showed Karnan saying that “he had already threatened to sexually assault the wives of 13 former and present Supreme Court judges and a retired woman judge of the Supreme Court”.
They also said that Karnan had named several women employees of the court and lawyers, and alleged that they had been sexually harassed by judges of the Supreme Court and High Court. The lawyers added that Karnan’s remarks revealed a “deep-rooted misogyny” and sent a dangerous message to “depraved men, who seem to exist in large numbers”.
Karnan, who served in the Madras and Calcutta High Court, became the first sitting High Court judge to be held guilty of criminal contempt of court in 2017 for degrading the judiciary and making allegations of corruption against Supreme Court judges.
A constitution bench of the Supreme Court sentenced him to six months imprisonment. After he was sentenced, he went into hiding. He was arrested a month later and sent to Presidency Jail in Kolkata, where he was lodged till December 2017.