Sit in the corner, pay Rs 1 lakh: SC fines ex-CBI chief Nageshwar Rao for contempt

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi Supreme Court on Tuesday held former interim director M Nageswara Rao and the CBI legal advisor guilty of contempt for transferring head of the CBI team probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home case without consulting the apex court.

The CJI said ‘for contempt of court we impose a fine of Rs 1 lakh and direct him(former CBI interim director M Nageshwar Rao) to sit in one corner of the court till the court rises for the day.’ The court directed them to deposit within a week time. The punishment will go into their official records.

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Attorney General KK Venugopal appearing for CBI accepted that it was a series of mistakes. They have unconditionally apologised and they have not done at this wilfully, AG told the Supreme Court.

The court also slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh on Nageshwar Rao’s legal advisor. The Supreme Court came down hard on Nageshwar Rao for transferring officials investigating the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case. These transfers were made despite clear orders of the Supreme Court against this.

The apex court said that ‘Contempt has been committed. So there will be a mark on his (former interim CBI Director M Nageshwar Rao) career.’

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AG KK Venugopal said ‘He has an unblemished track record of 32 years. Please kindly adopt merciful approach as he has tendered apologies.’

The Former CBI interim chief and now additional director Rao had yesterday submitted an unconditional apology to the court over his action. In an affidavit, he admitted that he should have taken the court’s permission before transferring the officer. He tendered an unconditional apology saying he would not even dream of violating court orders.

The Court said the charge against Rao is that despite explicit order passed on November 21, 2018 that joint director AK Sharma would not be moved from the investigation into Muzaffarpur shelter home case, Rao went ahead and transferred him.

Acting director Rao forgets about the Supreme Court order but in his own file notes that the SC must be informed, the court said, asking if this is not a case of contempt of court., he said.

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