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After SC issued contempt notice, Nageswara Rao offers unconditional apology

Feb 11 (AZINS) Held guilty of “contempt” last week by the top court for unilaterally transferring the Joint Director AK Sharma without seeking prior approval from the court, then CBI interim Director M Nageswara Rao on Monday filed an affidavit rendering unconditional and unqualified apology for the decision. In the affidavit, Rao stated that he could not even dream of violating the order of the Supreme Court.

“I have not willfully violated the orders of this Honourable Court, as I can not even dream of violating or circumventing the order of this Honourable court, and admit that in view of the orders dated 31/10/2018 and 28/11/2018 passed by the Honourable Court earlier, I ought not have agreed with the legal advice for relieving AK Sharma even on his promotion without prior approval of the court,” stated the affidavit.

Rao in his affidavit further stated that he unhesitatingly accepts his mistake and tender his unconditional and unequivocal apology to the court.  “The action came to be made not with any deliberate or disobedient intent and it is humbly submitted that it was never my intent to undermine the majesty of the court or to flout or circumvent any direction of the court,” stated the affidavit.

The apex court had come down heavily on the CBI for transferring its former Joint Director AK Sharma, who was probing Bihar's shelter home cases, out of the agency in violation of the court's order and directed its then interim chief M Nageswara Rao to personally appear before it on February 12.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took serious note of violation of two earlier orders of the apex court and issued contempt notice to Rao for transferring Sharma to the CRPF on January 17 without taking prior permission from the court.

The bench, which also comprised Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, directed CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla to give the names of officers who were part of the process in transferring Sharma out of the probe agency.

The top court referred to its earlier orders in which it had asked CBI not to remove Sharma from the team probing Bihar shelter home cases.

The Supreme Court Thursday issued a contempt notice to former CBI interim director M Nageswara Rao and asked him to personally appear before it on February 12 for transferring a senior officer, heading the probe in the Bihar shelter home cases, with a warning that "only God help you".

The apex court took serious note of transfer of former CBI Joint Director A K Sharma to CRPF on January 17 without its prior permission despite specific orders earlier that the probe into shelter homes cases, including the Muzaffarpur rape and sexual harassment matter, has to be supervised by him only.

"Why you (CBI) did not obtain leave of this court as per earlier orders. It is a fit case for contempt. Why should we bear with you. Enough is enough. Enough. ...we intend to deal with it (contempt)," said a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, rapped the agency saying, "we are going to take it very very seriously. You have played with order of the Supreme Court. Only God help you. Never play with the Supreme Court's order".

Besides Rao, it also directed S Bhasuram, in-charge Director of Prosecution, CBI, to appear for allegedly violating the apex court' orders.

It directed CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla to give the names of the officers, who were part of the process in transferring Sharma out of the probe agency and sought their presence as well on the next date of hearing. The CBI officers will have to file their responses to the show cause notice on February 11.

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