SC gives courtroom detention to ex-CBI interim chief Rao, legal advisor for contempt

NEW DELHI
12 Feb 2019

The Supreme Court Tuesday awarded day-long courtroom detention to former acting CBI director M Nageswara Rao and another official for "brazen" contempt of its orders, and strongly rebuked them when they tried to leave before the rising of the court.
It had directed them to remain seated till the rising of the court and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each for transferring out an officer who was probing the Bihar shelter homes sexual assault cases. Sparing contemnors Rao and CBI's legal advisor S Bhasuram the jail term, the apex court held them guilty for "wilfully disobeying" its orders by transferring CBI Joint Director A K Sharma, as additional director general of CRPF on January 18. "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)" said a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
Pensive looking Rao and Bhasuram, who on Monday had already tendered unconditional and unqualified apologies for their roles in the transfer of Sharma, were in for a shock as the bench expressed its mind on their culpability at the outset.  Holding them guilty of contempt of court, the bench, also comprising justices L N Rao and Sanjiv Khanna, said, "We could not have done anything else". It said: "We have heard Rao and Bhasuram for commission of contempt of court and we impose one lakh fine and sentence them till the rising of the court. "Go to one corner of the court and sit down till the rising of this court." Both remained in the CJI's courtroom till 4 pm, the normal working hours of the judicial side of the apex court. They also remained seated during the lunch session. (PTI)