Can state governments stop CBI raids?

All states must withdraw general consent to the CBI, said Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao.

Sounak Mukhopadhyay
First Published1 Sep 2022
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee(AP)

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has urged all states to revoke their support for the CBI. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar was by Rao's side when he spoke at a press conference in Patna. Rao said that the BJP was "misusing" various federal agencies to target its political rivals.

"All central investigative agencies, including the CBI, are being misused by the Centre to target the BJP's political rivals in the country. This should stop now and all state governments should withdraw their consent to the CBI. After all, policing is a state subject," he said.

Also Read: CBI raids Bihar minister in 'land-for-railway jobs' scam

Rao's remarks coincide with calls for the CBI's general approval to be withdrawn from the ruling "Mahagathbandhan" in Bihar.

On the same day, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee declared that she would pursue legal action if any of her family members received a notification from one of the federal investigation agencies, despite the fact that things have gotten difficult recently due to "BJP's intervention".

Also Read: ‘Welcome to CBI, nothing will come out’: Kejriwal as CBI raids Sisodia residence

Abhishek Banerjee, a Trinamool Congress MP and her nephew, was summoned once more by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to appear before its officers on Friday as part of its ongoing inquiry into the coal smuggling fraud when she made her comment.

Banerjee, among various other Opposition leaders, has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of misusing probe agencies. Now, the question is: can state governments stop the CBI from conducting raids in its territory?

Also Read: Or face ‘false’ CBI, ED cases: BJP accused of trying to ‘buy out’ AAP MLAs

Can state governments stop the CBI?

The Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946's Section 5 allows the Central government to start investigation. However, Section 6 of the same Act states that the CBI must obtain the appropriate state governments' permission before conducting investigations within their borders.

“Nothing contained in section 5 shall be deemed to enable any member of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise powers and jurisdiction in any area in a State, not being a Union territory or railway area, without the consent of the Government of that State,” says Section 6.

Also, the Delhi Special Police Establishment is not allowed to conduct any inquiry or investigation without with the previous approval of the Central Government, when it involves the employees of the Central Government of the level of Joint Secretary and above and such officers as are appointed by the Central Government in corporations established by or under any Central Act, Government companies, societies and local authorities owned or controlled by that Government.

Also Read: Arrested TMC leader Anubrata Mondal sent to 14-day custody in cattle smuggling scam

However, no such approval is necessary for cases involving arrest of a person on the spot on the charge of accepting or attempting to accept bribes, the same section says.

The CBI must request permission from the state government to register a case if the general consent is revoked. Nine states, including Meghalaya, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal have so far refused to give the CBI general permission to investigate matters under their purview.

(With PTI inputs)

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