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Supreme Court convicts ex interim CBI Director Nageswara Rao for contempt of court



Nageswar Rao

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]CBI’s former interim director M Nageswara Rao was today (Tuesday, Feb 12) held guilty of violating Supreme Court orders by transferring CBI joint director officer Arun Sharma who was the lead investigator in Muzaffarpur Shelter Home case.

The court also held Rao’s legal officer, CBI’s Director of Prosecution S Bhasuran, guilty of contempt.

“It is not an error. It is wilful disobedience,” a livid Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said. Rejecting their apology, the judges imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on Nageswara Rao and Bhasuran and told them to sit in a corner of the courtroom till the court rises for the day.

The Supreme Court had placed an embargo on transfers of all CBI officers involved with the investigation into alleged sexual exploitation of inmates at the shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district.

On February 7, while hearing a petition filed in the shelter home case, a Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Sanjiv Khanna was incensed to discover that CBI joint director AK Sharma who was leading the probe had been transferred without prior approval of the court.

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The bench had then been informed that the transfer made by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the advice of Rao, then interim CBI chief, while withholding information on the court-enforced embargo. The Chief Justice had pointedly told Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for Rao, that if a case of contempt of court was made out, the court would take the matter “very, very seriously.”

“You have played with our orders. God help you,” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said during the last hearing.

Yesterday, Rao had filed an “unconditional apology” with the Supreme Court, admitting to having violated its order by transferring Sharma but insisting that the action “came to be made not with any deliberate or disobedient intent” and that it was “never my intention to undermine the majesty of this Hon’ble Court, or to flout or circumvent any direction of this Hon’ble Court.”

“I sincerely realise my mistake and while tendering my unqualified and unconditional apology, I specially state I have not wilfully violated the order of this court as I cannot even dream of violating or circumventing order of this court,” Rao said in his affidavit.

As the court took up the contempt case on Tuesday, Attorney General Venugopal appeared before the bench and said that the former interim CBI director “admits his mistake”.

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As arguments began, it became clear that the bench was unwilling to let Rao, who was present in the courtroom, off with just a simple apology. Chief Justice Gogoi asked the Attorney General, “what is it if not contempt” while pointing out that Sharma’s relieving order was passed without prior approval of the court and in violation of its express orders.  The interim CBI chief’s affidavit was also “an admission of contempt”, he said.

As Venugopal continued to plead that Rao may be excused owing to his unconditional apology, the bench wondered why the interim CBI chief had “kept silent for two weeks” after Sharma’s transfer was effected and not sought “post facto approval” of the court for his decision.

“We are not inclined to accept his apology… we are of the view that he should be held guilty of contempt,” the Chief Justice said, even as Venugopal prayed for leniency. The Chief Justice then asked the Attorney General: “should we hear you on the point of sentence or him (Rao)”.

The Attorney General sought to protect Rao from being penalised by trying to turn the blame for violation of the court’s orders on “junior law officers” of the government. Venugopal argued that Rao had recommended to the ACC to transfer Sharma after getting due legal advice from them and that the junior lawyers officers of the Central Law Agency failed to inform the court and get its approval on the transfer.

Unimpressed, the Chief Justice said: “his (Rao’s) attitude is, I have done what I think is best (sic).”

“I have not invoked contempt powers and punished anyone in the last 20 years,” Chief Justice Gogoi said: “but there has to be a first time to maintain the integrity… this (Rao’s action) is brazen.”

The bench then made it clear that it was holding Rao as well as Bhasuran guilty of contempt and said it would hear the former interim CBI chief on the quantum of sentence to be awarded.

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Attorney General Venugopal then pleaded that Rao be let off after being made to pay a fine. Accepting Venugopal’s plea, the court imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on Rao and legal officer Bhasuran, while directing the former interim CBI director to “sit in one corner” of the courtroom till the bench rises at the end of the day’s board.

However, the court, while holding Rao guilty of contempt, clarified that the transferred officer, AK Sharma, will not return to lead the shelter home probe and his transfer, made in violation of court orders, will not be rescinded.

Rao had taken over as interim CBI chief when the Centre and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) divested Alok Verma of his responsibilities as the agency’s director on October 23. The very next day, Rao had issued transfer orders for a slew of officers known for their proximity to Verma and those who were, at the point, part of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) that was probing the CBI’s then special director Rakesh Asthana in graft cases.

Verma had rescinded these transfer orders during the two days that he returned as CBI director (on January 8 and 9) following his conditional reinstatement by the Supreme Court. On January 10, when Verma was summarily sacked as CBI director by the selection panel mandated to appoint the agency’s chief, Rao returned as interim chief and re-issued the transfer orders.

The transfers were controversial to begin with as they appeared to be a move aimed at scuttling the probe against Asthana. Some of these transfers are also under challenge in the Supreme Court.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi reveals plan for ambitious 2047 Viksit Bharat project, says work for the project has been ongoing for last 2 years

The Prime Minister said that he does not mean to scare or suppress anyone, but rather has plans to make India a developed nation by 2047.



A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its election manifesto, which aims at building a Viksit Bharat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an interview with the media, outlined his vision for India’s development by 2047. He also addressed concerns raised by the opposition parties, who suggest that the BJP might seek to amend the Constitution if re-elected in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave his assurance to the people that they do not need to fear when he said that he has big plans for the country in his election speeches. Explaining statement, the Prime Minister said that he does not mean to scare or suppress anyone, but rather has plans to make India a developed nation by 2047.

Speaking to the media, PM Modi said, when he says that he has big plans, no one should be scared. He said he does not take decisions to scare or run-over anyone, he takes decisions for the wholesome development of the country. He added the government always says they have done everything.  He said he did not believe that he had done everything. He added he had tried to do everything in the right direction, yet there is so much he needed to do, because he saw that his country has so many needs.

The Prime minister asked how did he fulfill the dreams of every family? He said this is the reason why he said this has been a trailer. PM Modi said he had been working on the ambitious 2047 Viksit Bharat project for the past two years. And for that, he asked for opinions and suggestions from people across India.  He said he had taken suggestions from more than 15 lakh people on how they want to see India in the coming 25 years.

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Kangana Ranaut meets Dalai Lama in Dharamshala shares pictures on social media ahead of Lok Sabha elections, post goes viral

The Bollywood actor met Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in Himachal Pradesh’s Dharamshala and said it as one of the most memorable moments of her life.



The Bollywood actor and BJP candidate for the Mandi Lok Sabha seat met Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in Himachal Pradesh’s Dharamshala on Monday. She said it as one of the most memorable moments of her life. Kangana Ranaut also shared pictures on social media.

The Lok Sabha elections in Himachal Pradesh are scheduled for June 1, marking the seventh phase of elections to elect four members of the 18th Lok Sabha. As the voting day is still over a month away, candidates contesting in the 4 constituencies are actively participating in various campaign activities. Among them, the BJP’s star candidate Kangana Ranaut, who is contesting from Mandi against Congress’s Vikramaditya Singh, is leaving no stone unturned to win the votes of the people.

Kangana Ranaut also shared what Dalai Lama told her during the meeting. She said, his Holiness ji said that he enjoys being in Himachal Pradesh and absolutely loves Bharat. She said this is such a privilege and such an honour. After her meeting with the spiritual leader, the actor told the media that it was divine. She said it was an experience which she will cherish all her life. She thought it is exceptional to be in the presence of such a being who has sheer divinity around him. She said it was very emotional for her and ex-CM Jairam Thakur. She added she will cherish this experience all her life.

Earlier, Kangana Ranaut slammed Himachal Pradesh minister Vikramaditya Singh for calling her the queen of controversies while she was addressing a poll rally in Mandi. She said, Yeh tumhare baap-dada ki riyasat nahin hai, ke tum mujhe dara, dhamka ke vapis bhej doge. She further added this is the new Bharat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where a small, poor boy who used to sell tea is the biggest hero and pradhan sevak of the people.

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India News

Election Commission records highest inducement seizure of Rs 4,650 crore ahead of Lok Sabha election

The Election Commission of India records highest inducement seizure of Rs 4,650 in 75-years of history.



The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Monday that the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are expected to witness the highest ever seizures of inducements.

According to a notification from the poll board, enforcement agencies had already seized a record Rs 4,650 crore before the first round of polling, which is yet to start. This was a significant increase over the Rs 3,475 crores seized during the entire Lok Sabha election in 2019.

As part of a level playing field, the Election Commission said that the enhanced seizures reflect ECI’s unwavering commitment to monitor inducements and curb electoral malpractices, particularly in favour of smaller and less resourceful parties.

Significantly, narcotics and drugs, which are the Commission’s main focus, account for 45% of the seizures. The poll body continued, the seizures have been made possible by thorough planning, increased cooperation and coordinated deterrent action by agencies, proactive public participation, and optimal use of technology.

The commission also made statistics on the distribution of inducements that were seized available for public consumption by state. With a seizure of over Rs 778 crore, Rajasthan topped the list. Gujarat came in second with Rs 605 crore, and Maharashtra came in third with roughly Rs 431 crore.

When announcing the polls last month, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar highlighted money power as one of the 4M challenges, along with money, muscle, misinformation, and Model Code of Conduct violations.

Use of black money, over and above political financing and accurate disclosure thereof, may disturb the level playing field in favor of a more resourceful party or candidate in specific geographies, the panel stated in its statement released on Monday.

The poll authority claims that the seizures are an essential part of the ECI’s resolve to hold fair elections for the Lok Sabha that are free from electoral malpractices and inducements.

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