India

Justice Karnan: Indian judge jailed for contempt

Justice Karnan Image copyright Press Trust of India
Image caption Justice CS Karnan has been fighting India's top judicial figures since January

A former Indian judge, who has been on the run since receiving a jail sentence last month, has been arrested and imprisoned.

Justice CS Karnan was the first sitting high court judge in India to face a jail term.

He was arrested in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday night.

He was sent to a prison in Kolkata (Calcutta), and a bail plea made on Wednesday morning has been rejected by the Supreme Court.

The former judge was found guilty of making allegations against fellow judges.

He was convicted of contempt of court by the country's Supreme Court after sending a letter to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in which he urged action against them the judges.

He was stripped of his judicial powers in February.

The stand-off dates from January, when Justice Karnan wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging up the names of 20 judges he alleged were corrupt and three senior law officials.

He failed to provide any evidence against those named in the list but at the same time urged Mr Modi to investigate and take action against them.

After that he was summoned before the top court and barred from performing any judicial or administrative functions.

Justice Karnan responded by accusing the seven judges of caste discrimination, banning them from leaving the country and demanding compensation.

A seven-judge Supreme Court bench that included Chief Justice JS Khehar then ordered a psychiatric evaluation of Justice Karnan by a panel of government doctors.

Justice Karnan angrily responded by ordering similar tests for the seven top court judges.

In May, he passed an unprecedented order sentencing India's chief justice, and seven other judges of the Supreme Court, to five years in prison.

The order said the judges were guilty of discrimination and harassment, among other charges.

The top court has barred the media from publishing and broadcasting Justice Karnan's statements.