Business Standard

SC holds ex-interim CBI chief Rao guilty of contempt, orders him to sit in a corner

IANS  |  New Delhi 

The on Tuesday held former CBI M. and in-charge prosecution S. Bhasuran guilty of for disobeying its order to not transfer out A.K. Sharma, who was probing the shelter home cases.

Refusing to accept the unconditional apology tendered by Rao on Monday, a bench of Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. and Justice on Tuesday directed him to sit in the courtroom for the remaining working hours for the day. It also levied a fine of Rs. 1 lakh on him.

"The dignity of the court must be maintained, but this is brazen," he said.

Rao and Bhasuran earned the wrath of the court for transferring Sharma from the CBI after his promotion as the General, CRPF, without taking the apex court's permission.

The top court had in an October 31, 2018 order said, "Sharma would continue to be the senior most as apart of investigating team."

Later on November 28, the court stated, "We make it clear that Mr. A.K. Sharma, in charge of investigations, would continue to remain in-charge of investigations and the expanded team including new members will report to him directly."

The November 28 order had been passed after the CBI agreed to expand the scope of Muzaffarpur shelter home investigation to other shelter homes in as well.

After his transfer, Sharma moved the apex court saying he could not be transferred as the CBI needed to take the court's permission.

Appearing for Rao on Tuesday, called his decision an "error of judgment" and not "wilful disobedience" of the order and urged the court to take a merciful approach.

However, CJI Gogoi observed repeatedly that Rao was in the know of the top court orders, and told the Attorney General, "Look at what he says, but his conduct post January 18, 2018... he does not feel the need to inform the court."

Holding Rao guilty of contempt of court, the SC Bench noted that on January 18, when Sharma was transferred, Rao was aware of the two apex court orders and had asked him to approach the court.

The same day, however, he signed a draft order sent by the DoPT relieving Sharma from the CBI without taking the apex court into confidence.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 12 2019. 17:18 IST