Home » State govt’s nod must for CBI investigation in its jurisdiction: SC

State govt’s nod must for CBI investigation in its jurisdiction: SC

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 3 minutes read

By Raju Vernekar
New Delhi, Nov. 20: 

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the state government’s consent is mandatory for investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its jurisdiction and the agency cannot conduct probe without its nod. 
SC’s observation came on an appeal filed by some accused, private and public servants, challenging the validity of the CBI investigation against them in a corruption case, on the ground that prior consent was not taken from the state government. The appeals challenged a judgment passed by the Allahabad High Court in August 2019 against “Fertico Marketing and Investment Private Limited” and others. 
A bench comprising A M Khanwilkar and B R Gavai at the SC said the provisions are in tune with the federal character of the Constitution, which has been held to be one of its basic structures. The SC referred to sections 5 and 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, which deals with extension of powers and jurisdiction of special police establishment to other areas and consent of state government to exercise of powers and jurisdiction. 
“It could thus be seen, that though Section 5 enables the central government to extend the powers and jurisdiction of members of the DSPE beyond the Union Territories to a State, the same is not permissible unless a State grants its consent for such an extension within the area of State concerned under Section 6 of the DSPE Act,” the bench said. 
The high court had noted that the Uttar Pradesh government had granted post-facto consent against the two public servants who were later named in the charge sheet and that it was sufficient for proceeding with the case. The high court had rejected the appeal of the accused and said the Uttar Pradesh Government, had accorded a general consent for an extension of powers and jurisdiction of the members of DSPE in 1989 in the whole of the state under the Prevention of Corruption Act. 
However SC rejected the stand taken by the UP Government. SC’s observation assumes significance as recently the governments of Punjab, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh withdrew their “general consent” to the CBI. 
It may be recalled that last month, the Maharashtra government issued an order withdrawing the general consent given to the CBI to probe cases in the state, a day after the CBI took over the case  registered by the UP Police against alleged manipulation of television rating points (TRP). 
The Maharashtra government had accorded general consent by an order on 22 February,  1989, allowing the CBI to exercise its powers and jurisdiction in the state. The Maharashtra Government took this step due to an “apprehension” that the CBI would take over the case that the Mumbai Police is investigating against four channels who are accused of TRP manipulation. 
“Republic TV”, which is one of the channels that the Mumbai Police is investigating for TRP manipulation, had approached the Bombay high court and sought the transfer of the case to the CBI. Earlier this year, the CBI had also taken over the investigation into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, which was being probed by the Mumbai Police, after a Supreme Court order.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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