RKN Global on When Accusations of Corruption are Made

A media storm has enveloped a justice on the high court of Calcutta, India.  C.S. Karnan, before he was transferred to the Calcutta high court, served on the Madras high court.  At that time, he made public accusations, including through an open letter to the Indian Prime Minister, against numerous sitting and retired judges throughout the country.  The accusations included allegations of corruption.

RKN Global founder, Ronald K. Noble, notes that because corruption is so serious, accusations of corruption are a serious matter as well. In Justice Karnan’s case, the accusations resulted in his conviction for contempt of court.

Among some of the highlights of the storm surrounding Justice Karnan are:

  1. Contempt proceedings were initiated against Justice Karnan based on his behavior and accusations against members of the judiciary.
  2. On May 8, a seven-judge panel of the Supreme Court ordered Justice Karnan to undergo a medical evaluation, based on their concerns about his mental health.
  3. The next day, Justice Karnan issued arrest warrants for seven judges of the Supreme Court, including the chief justice, for failure to appear before him.  He cited Article 226 of the Indian Constitution and Section 482 of its Criminal Procedure Code, calling it a “judicial order in ithe interest of the national to protect the general public from corruption and unrest.”  Additionally, he ordered mental evaluations of the judges who ordered his evaluation.
  4. That same day, the Supreme Court sentenced justice Karnan to six months’ imprisonment for contempt of court.
  5. Justice Karnan  managed to evade arrest, and authorities believed he had fled the country, but after several weeks, he was captured by police in a resort near the city of Coimbatore, in India.

RKN Global founder, Ronald Noble, observes that this saga, with its themes of corruption, mental illness and racism (not discussed here, for simplicity’s sake!), is sad no matter how you look at it. If Justice Karnan were not mentally ill and in fact were correct, there would be a major judicial corruption scandal in India.  But in light of Justice Karnan’s likely mental illness, it is a sad tale about the descent of a talented lawyer and judge.

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