February 07, 2019:
On Thursday, the Supreme Court 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.
The Court has asked Rao, the former interim director of CBI, and other officers to be present on Feb 12 and directed the agency to identify officers who were involved in the transfer of Sharma.
“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 after he informed the court that two officials including M Nageswara Rao were involved in transferring Sharma.
Sharma, joint director, CBI was the senior most supervising officer in Bihar Shelter home cases and court had in its previous orders said that he should not be transferred.
But on Jan 17 2019, Sharma’s tenure in CBI was curtailed and he was moved out as ADGP CRPF capping a long-drawn internal feud in the agency.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice 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.
“Enough is enough. Children cannot be treated like this. You cannot let your officers treat children this way. Spare the children,” the Top Court told the Bihar Government.
The Top Court asked whether the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) was informed by the Government that there was an embargo on Sharma’s transfer.
The plight of the Bihar shelter homes was exposed in a report of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
According to an FIR in the case, the TISS put 17 shelter homes in Bihar under the category of ‘Grave Concerns’.
Handing over the cases to the CBI, the bench had noted that one of the 17 — the Muzaffarpur shelter home case — has already been transferred to the CBI, and “the remaining should also be looked into by the CBI… all ‘grave concerns’ cases will be investigated only by CBI.”