General Consent Granted to CBI

Context: The government in Tamil Nadu announced that it has withdrawn the general consent given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act. About General Consent:
  • The CBI is governed by The Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946.
  • It must mandatorily obtain the consent of the state government concerned before beginning to investigate a crime in a state.
  • Section 6 of The DSPE Act: The CBI needs consent from the respective State governments for conducting investigation in their jurisdiction.
  • The consent of the state government to CBI can be either case-specific or general.
  • This is consent by default, in the absence of which the CBI would have to apply to the state government in every case, and before taking even small actions.
  • A general consent to CBI granted by State governments enables the central agency to carry out investigations without such hindrances.
  • Other States that withdrew general consent: Mizoram, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Kerala, Jharkhand, Punjab and Meghalaya.
Implications of withdrawal:
  • The CBI will not be able to register any fresh case involving officials of the central government or a private person in the state without the consent of the state government.
  • CBI officers will lose all powers of a police officer as soon as they enter the state unless the state government has allowed them.
  • CBI retained the power to investigate cases that had been registered before consent was withdrawn.
Delhi High Court order in 2018:
  • It ruled that the agency could probe anyone in a state that has withdrawn general consent, if the case was not registered in that state.
  • The CBI could file a case in Delhi and continue to investigate people inside those states.
Additional Information: About Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI):
  • CBI is the premier investigating police agency in India, which was set up in 1963 by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Later, it was transferred to the Ministry of Personnel and now it enjoys the status of an attached office.
  • The establishment of the CBI was recommended by the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption (1962–1964).
  • The CBI is not a statutory body. It derives its powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
  • It functions under the superintendence of the Dept. of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances, GoI – which falls under the Prime Minister’s Office.
Wings of CBI:
  • Anti-Corruption Division
  • Economic Offences Division
  • Special Crimes Division
 News Source: The Hindu

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