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The Supreme Court today sought the personal appearance of former interim Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), M Nageshwar Rao in a matter involving the transfer of officer AK Sharma, who was investigating the Bihar Shelter Homes case.
Nageshwar Rao, along with other officials involved in the transfer of Sharma, have been directed to be present before the Court on February 12.
The Court, in its previous orders, had transferred the probe in the case from the Bihar Police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). While doing so, it had stated that no officer from the investigating team shall be transferred until the completion of the probe.
In January this year, however, AK Sharma was transferred to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) without the leave of the Court.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi observed that this move is “prima facie contempt of this Court.” He said,
“We are going to take this very seriously… You have played with the orders of this Court, now God help you.“
The Bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna had sought an affidavit from the CBI in relation to the transfer of AK Sharma when the matter was taken up for hearing this morning. The affidavit was to be filed by 2 pm.
The affidavit was filed by one Devinder Singh, on orders of former CBI Interim Director Rao. Noting that Singh was not the competent authority to file the affidavit, CJI Gogoi said to him,
“Never file an affidavit without your personal satisfaction on anyone’s orders. The law is your only master…Not any politician, not any official. Law is the only master, always keep this in mind.“
The Court proceeded to direct M Nageshwar Rao as well as all the other officials involved in the transfer process to file their replies by Monday, February 11 and to be personally present in the Court on Tuesday, when the matter will be taken up for hearing next.
Sharma was investigating the incidents of sexual abuse in 16 Shelter Homes in Bihar. Earlier today, the Court had also directed that the trial in the case of sexual abuse in the Muzaffarpur Shelter Home case be shifted outside Muzaffarpur. While the chargesheet, in this case, has been filed and the trial is required to commence before a POCSO Court in Saket, Delhi within two weeks, the probe in incidents of other sixteen Shelter Homes in Bihar is still underway.