The Supreme Court on Tuesday held former CBI interim director M Nageswara Rao guilty of contempt for ordering the transfer of an officer investigating the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case.
Complying with the apex court’s earlier order, Rao appeared before the Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi while holding Rao guilty imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh and directed him to sit in one corner of the court till the court rises for the day.
“Contempt has been committed. So there will be a mark on his career,” Gogoi said.
Attorney General KK Venugopal appearing for the CBI admitted before the court that a series of mistakes had been committed by the top officers, adding that they have apologised unconditionally and had not done it willfully.
“He (Nageswara Rao) has an unblemished track record of 32 years. Please kindly adopt merciful approach as he has tendered apologies,” the AG told the court.
“It’s not an error. It’s willful disobedience,” a livid Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, also finding the CBI’s Director of Prosecution S Bhasu Ram, guilty of contempt.
Rao had transferred out AK Sharma despite the Supreme Court’s embargo against the transfer of officials in the Muzaffarpur case, which the court is monitoring.
Bhasu Ram was also involved in the transfer of the officer.
Coming down heavily on the Central Bureau of Investigation for transferring an investigating officer in the case, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had last Thursday said Rao had committed contempt of court.
“We are going to take it very very seriously. You have played with the order of Supreme Court of India. God help you. Never play with SC’s order,” a furious Chief Justice had said.
Earlier on Thursday, the court transferred the trial of Muzaffarpur shelter home cases from Patna to Saket POCSO court in Delhi for “a free and fair trial”.
The top court also ordered the judge to commence the trial in two weeks and complete it within a period of six months.