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'Serious Issue': Supreme Court on 8 States Not Granting Consent for CBI Probe

The CBI had told SC that 8 states withdrew their consent previously granted to it under Section 6 of the DSPE Act.

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'Serious Issue': Supreme Court on 8 States Not Granting Consent for CBI Probe
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The Supreme Court on Monday, 8 November, expressed concern over state governments declining to grant consent to the CBI to conduct probe within their territory, and over 150 such requests pending with these governments.

The CBI, in an affidavit, had told the Supreme Court that eight states – West Bengal, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram have withdrawn the general consent previously granted to it under Section 6 of the DSPE Act.

It added that over 150 requests were sent to these states during the period 2018 to June 2021 for grant of specific consent for investigation of cases in their territory.

"Requests were granted in less than 18 percent cases, which were related mainly in cases of trapping of corrupt Central public servants. Requests in approximately 78 percent cases were pending, which mainly pertained to bank frauds of high magnitude impacting the economy of the country," it had said in the affidavit.

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On Monday, a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul observed that state governments not granting consent is a "serious issue".

It also expressed concern over pendency of the CBI's appeals in various courts - trial courts, high courts, and the Supreme Court. According to the CBI, a total of 13,291 appeals/revisions/writ petitions are pending in these courts - 327 in sessions court, 12258 in high courts, and 706 in the Supreme Court.

The CBI said in several cases, during the course of trial, proceedings are held up due to stay orders granted by the appellate courts - adversely affecting the pace of the trial.

"In some cases, leave to appeal is not granted immediately and it takes a lot of time for its admission. For instance, in 2G scam cases, leave to appeal was filed by the CBI within the prescribed timeline in year 2018, but the same has not been granted till date. (This also adds on to the difficulties being faced in prosecution of such cases)," said the CBI in its affidavit.

According to a counsel in the matter, the bench said the pendency of the appeals is a serious concern and it should be dealt separately.

On 3 September, the top court decided to examine, within the ambit of investigation and prosecution, the CBI's success rate and performance leading a case to its logical conclusion.

The top court sought a complete chart of how many cases the CBI has been prosecuting in trial courts and in the high courts.

"We will examine the success rate of the premier investigating agency," it noted. The top court was hearing a matter arising out of the CBI's appeal from a 2018 judgment of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court. According to a counsel, the top court has also issued notice in this matter.

The high court had let off some lawyers from charges of fabricating false evidence against a few security forces personnel to implicate them in a case of rape and murder. Two girls from Shopian had died due to drowning in March 2009, the CBI had claimed that some lawyers and doctors created false evidence of rape and murder.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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