SC holds former CBI chief guilty of contempt, asks Rao to sit in the corner
New Delhi: Supreme Court, on Tuesday, rejected unconditional apology of former interim director of CBI, M Nageswara Rao and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh for contempt and asked Rao and CBI legal advisor to sit in court till the court rises at 4 pm as punishment for their defiance of court orders.
The former CBI Chief and legal advisor were found guilty of contempt for transferring head of the CBI team probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home case without consulting the top court.
The bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi also directed them to deposit the imposed fine within a week time. The punishment will go into their official records.
Though, the Attorney General KK Venugopal’s tried to save Rao, saying he made an error of judgment in transferring Joint Director AK Sharma without court’s order and that it was not wilful, but, CJI demanded to know why the court’s prior permission was not sought for this.
AG also tried hard to convince the court not to punish Rao. Additional CBI director Rao, however, had tendered an unconditional apology, on Monday, in a written affidavit. In his affidavit, he admitted that he should have taken the court’s permission before transferring the officer and asked for an unconditional apology saying he would not even dream of violating court orders.
“I ought not have agreed with the legal advice for relieving AK Sharma even on his promotion without prior approval of Supreme Court,” stated the affidavit.
The CJI, ranjan Gogoi said the fact that Rao knew of the court order and still transferred Sharma was enough to make out the offence of contempt. The court, sternly had said that officers must obey the law and not “politicians” or “bureaucrats”. “The law is your master not politicians or bureaucrats.”