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Former HC Judge CS Karnan Arrested For Offensive Remarks On Women Judges

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Former High Court judge CS Karnan has been arrested in Chennai for allegedly making offensive statements against women judges and wives of other judges via a video posted on YouTube. His arrest comes following a complaint by a Madras HC lawyer, who objected to the defamatory comments Karnan made against women on video. Karnan has previously served as a judge on the Madras and Calcutta HCs.

According to the Indian Express, the cyber cell of the Chennai police had booked Karnan on October 27 after a lawyer from the Madras HC wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of India Sharad Bobde, in response to the derogatory video. Reports suggest that in the video, Karnan had insulted several women judges and threatened them, and wives of other sitting judges, with sexual violence. He had even named a few women, alleging that some judges of the Supreme Court and HCs had “sexually assaulted” them.

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The letter by the Madras HC lawyer mentioned that Karnan’s video “amount to a horrific act of violence and an affront to the dignity of all women.” Pleading for action to be taken against him, he claimed the video revealed “a deep-rooted misogyny.” Live Law reports Karnan issued “rape threats” as well. He was, subsequently, booked under sections 153 and 509, and further arrested.

His 2020 arrest comes a day after the Madras HC reportedly directed the DG of Chennai police and the commissioner to appear before it on December 7 to give updates on the case.

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Other Controversies Surrounding CS Karnan

CS Karnan, in 2017, became the first sitting High Court judge to receive a jail sentence. NDTV reports that at the time he was a judge at the Calcutta HC. In a letter to PM Narendra Modi, he had accused 20 judges of corruption, following which the Supreme Court had initiated contempt proceedings against him. He was found guilty of contempt of court by a seven-judge bench, receiving a six months’ prison sentence even as he had six months left to his retirement as a judge. Karnan has maintained that he has been routinely targeted throughout his career, owing to his Dalit background.