SC Holds Former CBI Chief Rao Guilty Of Contempt,Imposes Rs 1L Fine & Orders Him Stand In A Corner

| February 12 , 2019 , 13:11 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday held former interim chief of the CBI M Nageshwar Rao guilty of contempt for transferring head of the CBI team probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home case without consulting the apex court.

The court sentenced Rao till rising of the Court and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh for contempt. The court directed them to deposit within a week time. The punishment will go into their official records.

According to media reports, in his ruling, CJI Ranjan Gogoi said, "Contempt [of court] has been committed. So there will be a mark on his (Nageshwar Rao's) career."

To this, Attorney General KK Venugopal pleased that Rao has an "unblemished" track record of 32 years. "Please kindly adopt merciful approach as he has tendered apologies," he said.

A three-judge bench, led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, had at the last hearing issued contempt notices to him. In a stern message, the court had said that officers must obey the law and not “politicians” or “bureaucrats”. “The law is your master not politicians or bureaucrats,” the CJI had said.

“You have played with the court’s orders. God help you if you have played with the court’s orders,” he had said.

CJI Gogoi was also unhappy with Attorney General KK Venugopal's explanation that Rao made an error of judgment in transferring Joint Director AK Sharma without the court's nod and that it was not wilful.

CJI demanded to know why the court's prior permission was not sought for this. Rao had tendered an unconditional apology yesterday in a written affidavit. In an affidavit, he admitted that he should have taken the court’s permission before transferring the officer. He tendered an unconditional apology saying he would not even dream of violating court orders.

On February 7, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had come down heavily on Rao as well as the in-charge of the Director of Prosecution in transferring Sharma despite there being two categorical orders by the apex court prohibiting the transfer of Sharma without the court’s permission.