Rao was found guilty of shunting out a CBI officer who was in charge of the Muzaffarpur shelter abuse probe despite a freeze on transfers by the Supreme Court.
M Nageswara Rao, acting Central Bureau of Investigation director, was found guilty by the Supreme Court of contempt for ordering the transfer of an officer investigating the sexual abuse of children at Bihar's government-run shelter homes on Tuesday.
Rao was found guilty of shunting out a CBI officer who was in charge of the Muzaffarpur shelter abuse probe despite a freeze on transfers by the SC.
"It's not an error. It's willful disobedience," a livid Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, also finding the CBI's Director of Prosecution and Additional Legal Advisor S Bhasuran, guilty of contempt.
Rejecting their apology, the judges fined the officers Rs. 1 lakh each and asked them to sit in the corner of the court till it rises for the day as punishment. "We can send you to jail for up to 30 days,” the court said before accepting the Attorney General's request for leniency.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took serious note of the violation of the two earlier orders dated October 31 and November 28, 2018, and issued contempt notice to Rao for transferring Sharma to the CRPF on January 17 without taking prior permission from the court. The court clarified that Sharma would not return to join the probe into the Muzaffarpur shelter home case.
The court was not happy with Rao’s actions. “You are playing with the order of the Supreme Court. God help you…Never, never play with the order of the court.” Turning to the CBI officer who filed the document, CJI Gogoi remarked “never ever file an affidavit which is not in your personal satisfaction. Law is the only master you serve…”
In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the officer had said he accepts his mistake of not seeking permission before transferring the officer probing the Muzaffarpur shelter homes case.
"I sincerely realize my mistake and while tendering my unqualified and unconditional apology, I specially state I have not willfully violated the order of this court as I cannot even dream of violating or circumventing order of this court,” Rao, who was a decision maker during his tenure as the agency's interim chief, wrote in his apology.