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Court had fined Nageswara Rao Rs 1 lakh for violating it’s orders, directed him to stay in courtroom till the end of board

It clearly was not former interim CBI director Nageswara Rao’s day. Hours after the unprecedented embarrassment of being found guilty of contempt of court for violating the top court’s order during his brief stint as interim CBI chief, Rao was once again rapped by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in the courtroom, on Tuesday (February 12).

Earlier in the day, Rao had been fined Rs 1 lakh after the bench headed by Chief Justice Gogoi found him guilty of contempt for transferring CBI’s joint director AK Sharma midway through his probe into the case of alleged sexual exploitation of inmates at a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur. The transfer was in violation of a court-ordered embargo on reassigning any CBI officer involved with the sensitive probe.

While the court had not sentenced Rao to serve time in jail for the contempt, it had directed the senior CBI official to “sit in a corner” of the courtroom till the end of the day’s proceedings.

At around 3.40pm, Attorney General KK Venugopal, who had appeared for the CBI officer in the contempt case, approached the bench and asked Chief Justice Gogoi to allow Rao to leave.
An agitated Chief Justice responded: “What is this? Do you want us to sentence him (Rao) till the rising of the court tomorrow?”
The Chief Justice tersely told Rao to “go and sit where you were”.
The former interim CBI director was finally allowed to leave the court at around 4.50 pm, minutes before the bench rose for the day.

–India Legal Bureau

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