On February 7, a Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had criticised heavily the transfer of the officer in charge of the CBI investigation into the Bihar shelter home abuse cases. The officer, CBI’s former Joint Director A K Sharma, was transferred as ADGP, CRPF on January 17 without the court’s permission. The Bench had issued a contempt notice to M Nageswara Rao, who was the then interim Director of CBI and directed him to appear in person on February 12.
“Go and sit in the corner,” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told former acting CBI Director M. Nageswara Rao, after holding him guilty of contempt of the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
A bench headed by the Chief Justice was in no mood to listen to Rao’s explanations on the issue of transferring out Additional Director A.K. Sharma, who was probing the Bihar shelter home horror, without the court’s permission.
Rao and CBI’s in-charge of prosecution S. Bhasuran were held guilty of contempt of court for disobeying its order to not transfer out Sharma. They were also fined Rs 1 lakh each.
Refusing to accept the unconditional apology tendered by Rao on Monday, the bench, also comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, directed the CBI officer to sit in the courtroom for the remaining working hours of the day.
“The dignity of the court must be maintained, but this is brazen,” Chief Justice Gogoi said.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Sanjiv Khanna also fined them Rs 1 lakh each.
Chief Justice Gogoi said that in his last 20 years as a judge he had not compromised on the dignity and honour of the court.
Rao and the CBI’s legal advisor earned the wrath of the court for relieving former Additional Director A.K. Sharma from the CBI without taking the prior nod of the top court.
Holding Rao guilty of contempt of court, the judges noted that on January 18, 2019, when Sharma was relieved, Rao was aware of the court’s two orders and had asked the concerned people to approach the court.
However, on the same day, he signed a draft order sent by DoPT relieving Sharma from the CBI without satisfying whether the top court had been taken into confidence.
Sharma, who was heading the investigating team probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home horror, had said that he could not be shunted out as the CBI needed to take the court’s permission. (IANS)