NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday convicted former interim CBI director and the CBI legal advisor of contempt of court for transferring and relieving joint director CBI Arun Kumar Sharma + when the top court had ordered that he should not be shifted out of Muzaffarpur shelter home case probe.
The SC bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi imposed a fine of Rs one lakh each on Rao and the legal advisor for violating court orders and sentenced them to imprisonment till the court rises.
It asked the former CBI interim director and the legal advisor to sit in a corner of CJI‘s courtroom till rising of the court, which would be their punishment.
The SC rejected Rao‘s unconditional apology + and said despite two orders by the apex court not to shift out Sharma from Muzaffarpur shelter home probe, Rao had shown great urgency and disregard to court orders in relieving Sharma, who was posted as additional director general of CRPF.
Rao was held prima facie guilty of “contempt” last week for unilaterally transferring former joint director AK Sharma, who was supervising the probe into Bihar shelter home sexual abuse cases, without its approval.
Gogoi said, “Contempt has been committed. So there will be a mark on his (Nageswara Rao) career.”
AG KK Venugopal, appearing for Rao said, “He has an unblemished track record of 32 years. Kindly adopt merciful approach as he has tendered apologies.”
The SC had last week termed it “violation of its previous order which had directed that no officer involved in the probe be transferred without the court‘s approval.” “We are going to take it very, very seriously. You have played with our order. Now God help you. Why did you not obtain leave of this court as per earlier orders? It is a fit case for contempt. Enough is enough,” the bench said in its order last week.
Rao on Monday filed an affidavit before the apex court tendering “unconditional and unqualified apology”. The Supreme Court had summoned Rao along with other officers, who were part of the decision.
Asserting that “perhaps on account of the pressure of work, there was a lapse and error of judgement” on his part, Rao has stated that “his actions were neither wilful nor with any contumacious intent.”
“It was never my intention to undermine the majesty of this honourable court, or to flout or circumvent any direction of this honourable court,” Rao added while requesting the apex court to accept his apology.