Former Calcutta high court judge C S Karnan’s life as a fugitive for 43 days ended abruptly on Tuesday when a team of West Bengal police tracked him down and arrested him from a house on the outskirts of Coimbatore. He was later taken to Chennai on a late-night flight.
Karnan had been switching his location, SIM cards and mobile phones since May 9, when the Supreme Court took the unprecedented decision of jailing him for six months for gross contempt of court.
Though initially his mobile phone signals were tracked to the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border, he started moving between Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and Kochi in Kerala.
Karnan entered Coimbatore four days ago, and soon the Coimbatore cyber crime cell picked up his mobile phone signals.
His exact location was ascertained at 6.30pm on Tuesday.
He was found in the company of an advocate. For about 30 minutes, he did not cooperate with the police, said an officer who was part of the crack team.
“He kept questioning us, as to under what authority we were there to arrest him. He refused to come with us, without reporters,” he said. When the vehicle entered the airport premises, a grinning Karnan waved at the crowd of curious onlookers, the officer said. He insisted on addressing the media, despite being cautioned that the apex court had barred media from airing or publishing his statements.
Though the ex-judge spoke of the judiciary, himself and the controversy surrounding him, TOI chooses to withhold them in deference to the Supreme Court’s fiat barring media from publishing them.
Though three teams of cops were present at the time of his arrest, only three SPs travelled with Karnan to Chennai from where he would be taken to Kolkata on “the first available flight”. Karnan, according to plans now, would be taken to Presidency Jail, the largest of Bengal’s prisons.