New Delhi: In a significant development, the apex court today summoned senior CBI officer M. Nageswara Rao over the transfer of officer A. K. Sharma, who was probing the Bihar shelter home cases, calling it a contempt of court.
Fuming over the laxity in the investigation into the abuse and rape of children at Bihar's government-run shelter homes, 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 court has asked Rao, and other officers to be present on February 12 and directed the agency to identify officers who were involved in the transfer of Sharma.
A.K. Sharma - the officer supervising the sensitive case - was transferred as part of the overnight mass transfer that followed the public feud between Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana.
“We are going to take it very very seriously. You have played with order of Supreme Court of India. God help you. Never play with the Supreme Court’s order,” the Chief Justice told the CBI counsel.
A bench, headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, said transferring the CBI officer probing the sexual assault case amounted to a violation of its order. A bench asked the investigating agency to file an affidavit giving an explanation.
It also directed for presence of S. Bhasu Ram, in-charge Director of Prosecution CBI, for violating its order.
Several girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused at an NGO-run shelter home in Muzaffarpur and the issue had come to light following a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).