States withdrawing consent hampering probes
NEW DELHI: Asserting that withdrawal of ‘general consent’ by some states has led to severe limitations in the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) powers to investigate crucial cases, a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice on Monday said there was a dire need to enact a new law and give wider powers to the central anti- corruption agency so that it can probe cases without a “state’s consent and interference”.
At the same time, the panel said that some safeguards should also be laid down to ensure objectivity and impartiality in the functioning of the CBI so that the states also don’t feel discriminated against and absolutely powerless.
As per the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, which governs the functioning of the CBI, the consent of the state government is a pre-requisite for any investigation by the CBI.
Nine states have withdrawn the general consent to the CBI for investigating cases, according to a report tabled by the panel in Parliament on Monday.
State governments have granted general consent to the CBI for investigation in a “specified class of offences against specified categories of persons”, according to the provision of section 6 of the DSPE Act. For investigation of any matter in such a state, which is not covered in the aforesaid consent, specific consent of the state government is required for the CBI to investigate it in the state and the agency seeks such consent on a case-bycase basis.
“With reference to this only the committee reiterates that as on date, nine states have withdrawn the general consent. This has led to severe limitations on the powers of the CBI to investigate crucial cases impartially and objectively which will give rise to corruption and organised crimes in states,” it said. There is a dire need to give wider powers to CBI to investigate such crucial cases without the need for a state's consent and interference, the panel said.