The case of controversial former Calcutta High Court judge C S Karnan calls for greater scrutiny and screening of the judiciary, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today. “As regards a specific case of a specific judge, I would not like to make any comment, except observe that may be there is a case for greater scrutiny and screening of judiciary. The particular incident you have quoted only underscores the compelling need,” he told reporters here. The minister was asked to comment on the failure of state machinery to implement a Supreme Court order to send Karnan behind bars for six months for contempt of court. Justice Karnan had last week ended his tenure as a fugitive from law. He has been evading arrest since May 9 after being sentenced to six months imprisonment for contempt of court by the Supreme Court. He has the dubious distinction of being the first sitting high court judge to be awarded a jail term by the apex court. A seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar had passed the unprecedented arrest order against Karnan. Justice Karnan was appointed a judge of the Madras High Court in 2009.
He was transferred to the Calcutta High Court on March 11, 2016. He was transferred from the Madras High Court for his repeated allegations and run-ins with its then chief justice and fellow judges. The high court judge had on February 15, 2016 stayed his transfer order, which was suspended by the Supreme Court. The apex court had even asked the chief justice of the Madras High Court not to assign Karnan any judicial work.