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Maharashtra withdraws ‘general consent’ to CBI

Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Maharashtra withdraws ‘general consent’ to CBI:


Context:

The Maharashtra government has withdrawn “general consent” given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe cases in the state.

What consent is necessary?

The CBI is governed by the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act that makes consent of a state government mandatory for conducting investigation in that state.

There are two kinds of consent:

Case-specific and general– Given that the CBI has jurisdiction only over central government departments and employees, it can investigate a case involving state government employees or a violent crime in a given state only after that state government gives its consent.

  • “General consent” is normally given to help the CBI seamlessly conduct its investigation into cases of corruption against central government employees in the concerned state.

What does withdrawal mean?

It simply means that CBI officers will lose all powers of a police officer as soon as they enter the state unless the state government has allowed them.

  • The decision means the CBI will now have to get consent from the state government for every case it registers in Maharashtra.

Under what provision can general consent been withdrawn?

In exercise of power conferred by Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, the state governments can withdraw the general consent accorded.

Can withdrawal mean that the CBI can no longer probe any case?

No. The CBI would still have the power to investigate old cases registered when general consent existed. Also, cases registered anywhere else in the country, but involving people stationed in states which have withdrawn consent, would allow CBI’s jurisdiction to extend to these states.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About CBI and its establishment.
  2. Provisions of DSPE Act.
  3. What is General Consent?
  4. What happens when general consent is withdrawn by states?

Mains Link:

Can withdrawal mean that the CBI can no longer probe any case? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.