Supreme Court in scathing remark held former CBI interim chief Nageswara Rao guilty of contempt, rejecting his apology for transferring a CBI officer probing the Bihar shelter home rape cases against a top court order. Rao was also fined Rs 1 lakh.
The court said it did not understand nor comprehend how Rao could relieve the investigating officer without taking the court into confidence.
“His attitude is ‘I have done whatever I think is the best’. This is brazen. Would heavens have fallen had Rao come to the court for permission? If this is not contempt of court, then what is?” the court said.
“For contempt of court, we impose a fine of Rs 1 lakh and direct him to sit in one corner of the court till the court rises for the day,” CJI Ranjan Gogoi said.
Rao had on Monday admitted that he committed a “mistake” in transferring former joint director AK Sharma and apologised to the Supreme Court, saying he had no intention to circumvent its orders.
He admitted that in view of the Supreme Court orders dated October 31 and November 28, 2018, “I ought not to have agreed with the legal advice for relieving A K Sharma even in his promotion without prior approval of this court”.
The Supreme Court on February 7 came down heavily on the CBI for transferring Sharma, who was probing Bihar’s shelter home cases, out of the agency in violation of the court’s order and had directed Rao to personally appear before it on February 12.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took serious note of the violation of the two earlier orders and issued contempt notice to Rao for transferring Sharma to the CRPF on January 17 without taking prior permission from the court.
“I unhesitatingly accept my mistake and tender my unconditional and unequivocal apology to this court. I most respectfully pray that this court may be graciously pleased to accept the same,” Rao had said.