CBI works under Centre, West Bengal Govt’s suit against its ‘misuse’ maintainable, says Supreme Court : The Tribune India

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CBI works under Centre, West Bengal Govt’s suit against its ‘misuse’ maintainable, says Supreme Court

CBI works under Centre, West Bengal Govt’s suit against its ‘misuse’ maintainable, says Supreme Court

Photo for representation. File photo



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, July 10

Holding that the CBI worked under the Centre, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the West Bengal Government’s original suit against the probe agency registering cases despite withdrawal of general consent under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, was “maintainable”.

“In our considered opinion, the contentions raised by the defendant (Union of India) do not merit acceptance…The preliminary objection is, therefore, rejected,” a Bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta said. The Bench, however, clarified that the findings were for deciding preliminary objections and would have no bearing on the merits of the suit.

No control over agency, union govt claimed

  • Amid allegations of misuse of central agencies, the Centre had on May 2 asserted that the CBI was not under its “control” and that it couldn’t supervise the probes by it
  • The top court rejected Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s argument that the CBI was an independent agency

Amid allegations of misuse of central probe agencies against opposition leaders, the Centre had on May 2 asserted before the top court that the CBI was not under its “control” and that it couldn’t supervise the registration of FIRs or probes by it. However, after analysing various provisions of the DSPE Act, it said, “We… find that the very establishment, exercise of powers, extension of jurisdiction, the superintendence of the DSPE, all vest with the Government of India.”

The top court rejected Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s argument that the CBI was an independent agency. “In our view, the CBI is an organ or a body which is established by and which is under the superintendence of the Government of India in view of the statutory scheme, as enacted by the DSPE Act,” it said.

“If the powers and jurisdiction of the members of the DSPE are to be extended to any area, including railway areas, in a state not being a Union Territory, the same cannot be done unless the Central Government passes an order in that regard,” it noted.

Holding that the West Bengal Government’s plaint disclosed a cause of action, the Bench posted the matter for framing of issues on August 13. The final outcome of the case is likely to have wider ramifications for Centre-state relations. The West Bengal Government had in November 2018 withdrawn the “general consent” given to the CBI to conduct probes in the state.

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#Central Bureau of Investigation CBI #Supreme Court #West Bengal


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