Centre Can’t Extend CBI’s Power Unless State Gives Consent: SC

Earlier, eight Opposition-ruled states had cancelled consent for CBI probes.

2 min read
File image of the CBI headquarters. Used for representational purposes.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 17 November ruled that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) cannot exercise its powers and jurisdiction without a state government’s consent.

The case pertains to charge sheet filed against a company and some public officials by the Central Bureau of Investigation under Prevention of Corruption Act. The SC ruled in a petition by officials accused in a corruption case in Uttar Pradesh, Live Law reported.

A Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and BR Gavai mentioned the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act.

“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”
Judgement by SC 

The court was hearing an appeal challenging a judgment passed by Allahabad High Court in a case of corruption arising from a Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) entered into between Coal India Limited and appellant, Fertico Marketing and Investment Private Limited, Bar and Bench reported.

In March 2011, the CBI had conducted raids at the premises of Fertico and found that the coal purchased under the FSA was sold in the black market. Two government officials were found to be involved in the case.

The UP government had given consent to the CBI to investigate cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act against private individuals. However, the officials had argued that the general consent given by the state government was not enough, reported Bar and Bench.

The Supreme Court had ruled that they did not find any reason to interfere with the judgment of the Allahabad High Court with regard to not obtaining the prior consent of the state government.

Earlier, eight Opposition-ruled states - Rajasthan, Bengal, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Mizoram - cancelled consent for CBI probes in their states.

(With inputs from Bar and Bench, Live Law, NDTV)

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