The Supreme Court on Tuesday held the former acting director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), M Nageswara Rao, and the agency's legal advisor S Bhasuram in contempt of court and sentenced them to sit in the courtroom till it rose for the day. A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi also fined the two officers Rs 100,000 each.
"We could not have done anything else. We have heard Rao and Bhasuram for commission of contempt of court and we impose one lakh (Rs 100,000) fine and sentence them till the rising of the court," the Bench said.
The court said Rao had wilfully disobeyed its orders by transferring CBI Joint Director A K Sharma, who was probing the Bihar shelter home sexual assault cases. Sharma, then posted as an additional director general of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), was transferred by Rao on January 17. Though Rao and Bhasuram tendered an "unconditional and unqualified apology" when the case was being heard before lunch, the court said it did not agree with the contentions raised by them and hence, was doing what it thought was required.
"In our considered view, it is a case where contempt has been committed by both the then acting CBI Director, M N Rao, and the director prosecution (of the agency). Go to one corner of the court and sit down till the rising of this court," the CJI said.
Post lunch at 3:40 pm, when Attorney General K K Venugopal sought the court's nod to allow Rao and Bhasuram to leave, the court again came down heavily on them and asked them to remain seated till the court rose for the day.
"What's this? Do you want us to sentence him (Rao) till the rising of the court tomorrow? Go and sit where you were," CJI Ranjan Gogoi said.