Home/ News / India/  'Misuse' of central probe agencies; Supreme Court to hear on April 5 plea by 14 opposition parties

The Supreme Court today agreed to list for hearing a plea by 14 opposition parties, led by the Congress, alleging arbitrary use of central probe agencies against political opponents on April 5

A bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud took note of the submissions of senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for the opposition parties such as the DMK, RJD, Bharat Rashtra Samiti and the Trinamool Congress. and said the plea would be taken up for hearing on April 5.

The parties are seeking pre- and post-arrest guidelines to be followed by the central probe agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.

"Ninety five per cent cases are against opposition leaders. We are asking for pre-arrest guidelines and post-arrest guidelines," Singhvi said.

"We will list it on April 5," said the bench also comprising Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala.

Senior Advocate Singhvi said, "Today ED and CBI are being used against leaders of opposition parties and 95 per cent of cases are of opposition leaders. We're asking for pre-arrest guidelines and post-arrest guidelines."

The lawyer said that these political parties are saying that democracy is in peril. He also said that they don't want to try to affect the existing investigations.

Various parties which have approached the top court include Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Rashtriya Janta Dal, Bharat Rashtra Samiti, All India Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, National Conference, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Shiv Sena Uddhav camp, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Janata Dal (United), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Samajwadi Party (SP).

Meanwhile in an another development, Nine states across India including several Opposition-ruled states continued to withdraw the general consent given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Union Minister of State, Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh told Parliament on Thursday.

In a written reply to the query of Rajya Sabha MP Kirodi Lal Meena, Singh stated that amongst those states that continue to deny the general consent to CBI are West Bengal, Telangana, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Mizoram and Punjab. The list also includes Meghalaya where the BJP is in government with Conrad Sangma's National People's Party (NPP).

"As per Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) needs consent from the respective State government for conducting an investigation in its jurisdiction. In terms of the provision of Section 6 of the DSPE Act, 1946, a general consent to CBI has been granted by State governments for the investigation of a specified class of offences against specified categories of persons enabling CBI to register and investigate those specified matters," Singh who is the nodal minister for CBI said in his reply.

This comes at a time when the Janata Dal (United) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJR)-ruled government is also mulling the option of joining the ranks of other opposition parties. Recently an RJD MLA made a demand in the state assembly, urging Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take a leaf out of the books of states like West Bengal and Jharkhand. This of course in the wake of summons that was issued to the RJD chief Lalu Yadav's family in the land-for-job scam case.

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Updated: 24 Mar 2023, 12:16 PM IST
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