Thursday, November 30, 2023

Maharashtra withdraws general consent to CBI; agency now cannot investigate within state

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New Delhi (ILNS): Maharashtra has became the third state after Rajasthan and West Bengal to withdraw permission and disallowing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to operate within its boundaries.

The trigger for this could have been the FIR that the CBI had lodged in the TRP scam on the recommendation of UP Police. The Maharashtra Government has taken this step after a series of incidents where the cases have been transferred to the CBI be it the Sushant Singh Rajput death case or the recent TRP Scam case which has been transferred to the CBI by the UP Government.

The CBI operates on a “general consent” given by state governments. This is how they have jurisdiction. That general consent has been withdrawn. There are two ways in which the CBI can now proceed to probe cases within Maharashtra. One is to approach the government for specific permission (on a case by case basis) and the other is to go to the Bombay High Court or the Supreme Court and seek permission. Both, the top court and the high court have powers to allow this.

The Maharashtra Government has passed the order under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 which states that “Nothing contained in section 5 shall be deemed to enable any member of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise powers and jurisdiction in any area in 2 [a State, not being a Union territory or railway area], without the consent of the Government of that State.”

As per the order, the Government has now revoked the consent given by the Home Department of the Maharashtra Government on February 22, 1989 and for investigating any cases now the CBI will have to seek the State Government’s consent.

The order reads” “In exercise of the powers conferred by section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (25 of 1946), the Government of Maharashtra hereby withdraws the consent according to the members of Delhi Special Police Establishment vide Government Order, Home Department, No. MIS 0189/CR-28/POL-3, dated 22nd February 1989, as also by any other instruments issued by the Government of Maharashtra from time to time, to exercise the powers and jurisdiction under the said Act in the State of Maharashtra”.

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