Former Indian judge arrested after 40 days on the run

India's Supreme Court (AFP)

A former judge who led police on a 40-day manhunt across India has been arrested and jailed on contempt charges after a lengthy battle with the courts, an official said Wednesday.

C.S Karnan had been on the lam since the Supreme Court in May found him guilty of contempt, the first case of its kind against a sitting judge in India's history.

The court had ordered police in West Bengal state - where the 62-year-old had been a high court judge - to detain Karnan on  grounds of disrespecting the judiciary but he fled and sparked a nationwide manhunt.

Authorities finally caught up with him on Tuesday evening, arresting Karnan at a resort in Tamil Nadu state more than 2,000 kilometres away, said Anuj Sharma from West Bengal police.

"He was taken by an Air India flight to Kolkata on Wednesday afternoon. He was sent to the city's presidency jail after his health was examined," Sharma, a police director-general, told AFP.

Karnan looked comfortable and waved to the media as he was escorted under guard from the airport in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal.

His request for bail and a suspended sentence was rejected by the Supreme Court and he was remanded in custody.

Karnan's run-in with the judiciary began earlier this year, when he made allegations of misconduct by other judges.

He was barred from judicial duties for his remarks but that only fanned the dispute further, until he was found guilty of contempt.

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