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Supreme Court holds CBI ex-interim director Nageswara Rao guilty of contempt; fines Rs 1 lakh

File photo of M Nageswara Rao. Photograph:( DNA )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 12, 2019, 11.58 AM (IST)

Supreme Court today rejected former CBI interim chief M Nageswara Rao's "unqualified" and "unconditional apology" in the Bihar shelter home case.

India's top court sentenced Rao till the rising of court and imposed fine of Rs 1 lakh. 

The court had issued the notice to Rao for transferring joint director A K Sharma who was probing the Bihar shelter home case. The top court said additional director Nageswara Rao was aware of apex court directions that CBI officer cannot be transferred without its consent. 

"If this is not contempt of court then what is, the top court asked, adding, "his attitude has been, I have done what I had to do."

Supreme Court said Nageswara Rao and CBI legal officer had committed contempt of court.

"Go to one corner of court and sit down till the court rises," Supreme Court told Rao and DoP Dhansu Ram.  

In Rao's defence, Attorney General Venugopal said Nageswara Rao has put himself at the mercy of the court and has had an unblemished career as a police officer.

Rao on Monday had admitted that as interim chief of the CBI he had committed a "mistake" in transferring Sharma and apologised to the top court, saying he had no intention to circumvent its orders.

Rao had filed an affidavit in response to the contempt notice issued to him on February 7th.

CJI Ranjan Gogoi had asked for his "unconditional apology" and detailed affidavit after he transferred former joint director AK Sharma who was probing the Bihar shelter home sexual abuse case.

In the last hearing, CJI Ranjan Gogoi had said: “We are going to take it very very seriously. You have played with the order of the Supreme Court of India. God help you! Never play with SC’s order”.
 
“I don’t think any of us have felt the need (talks about fellow judges) to invoke our authority for contempt. I believe that the dignity of the court has to be maintained. This is blatant!”, CJI Gogoi said, adding,"this is suo moto contempt against Nageshwar Rao. The charge against him he did not withstand the orders of this court.”