Top CBI officer Nageshwar Rao shunted out, gets posted as civil defence chief
Nageshwar Rao has been ordered to join as director general of Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guard, the government order confirming his transfer order read.Updated: Jul 05, 2019 21:54 IST
CBI additional director Nageshwar Rao, who was twice appointed as the acting CBI director, has been shunted out of the country’s premier investigating agency. Rao has been ordered to join as director general of Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guard, the assignment that was earlier given to ex-CBI directorAlok Verma when he got his marching orders in January this year. Verma did not take up the assignment and sent his resignation instead.
A home ministry order giving Nageshwar Rao his new assignment was issued hours after the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cut short his tenure at the Central Bureau of Investigation and placed his services with the home ministry.
This brings to an end an eventful tenure in the investigation agency where Rao hit the headlines as the hand-picked interim chief to replace Alok Verma.
A 1986-batch Indian Police Service officer, Nageswara Rao first shot to national headlines when he was elevated as acting CBI director in October last year after the government sent CBI director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana on forced leave. Rao was again the government’s first choice for the job after a high-powered committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to move out Alok Verma from the top post.
Rao, however, was barred from taking any important policy decisions by the Supreme Court. Instead, he was told to carry out only routine administrative functions.
But Nageshwar Rao landed in trouble with the Supreme Court in February this year when the top court held him guilty of contempt of court for the transfer of a CBI officer AK Sharma probing the Bihar shelter home sexual assault case. It turned out that when the government moved the initial proposal to give AK Sharma a new assignment, Rao didn’t tell the Centre that the Supreme Court had barred moving out officers supervising the Bihar shelter home scandal.
File notings that the Supreme Court judges saw indicated that Nageswara Rao was aware of the directions but yet, chose not to seek the top court’s concurrence and quietly carried out the transfer orders.
As punishment, Rao and the CBI’s legal adviser were sentenced till the rising of the court in addition to a Rs 1 lakh fine each. This meant that the two officers had to take a corner spot in the court room and stay put as long as the judges heard cases.