Wednesday 7 December 2022
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PoliticsIndiaShinde restores general consent to CBI in Maharashtra: Jurisdiction, restrictions under DSPE...

Shinde restores general consent to CBI in Maharashtra: Jurisdiction, restrictions under DSPE Act 1946 explained

Reversing the decision of the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) dispensation, the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government today restored the general given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate cases in the state.

Chief Minister Shinde cleared the proposal of the home department headed by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to reverse the decision of the MVA government, an official from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said.

On 21 October 2020, the -led MVA government had withdrawn the general to the CBI under the contention that the union government was misusing central probe agencies to settle political scores.

The previous Thackeray-led government’s decision had come in the wake of CBI taking over the TRP case in Uttar Pradesh and was apparently prompted by fears that a similar step might be taken in Maharashtra in connection with Mumbai Police's case on the alleged TRP scam.

Anil Deshmukh, then the home minister of the state, had voiced the MVA government’s apprehension, saying that the CBI could act under political pressure.

What the Eknath Shinde government's general means

The legal powers of investigation of the CBI are derived from the DSPE Act 1946, which confers powers, duties, privileges and liabilities on the Special Police Establishment (CBI) and officers of the union territories. The union government may extend to any area (except Union Territories) the powers and jurisdiction of the CBI for investigation, subject to the of the government of the state concerned.

Members of the CBI at or above the of sub-inspector may be considered officers in charge of police stations. Under the act, the CBI can investigate only with notification by the central government.

Andhra Pradesh had once withdrawn the general to CBI but restored it in 2019. In January 2019, Chhattisgarh withdrew general consent to the CBI. In July 2020, withdrew general consent to the central agency. In October 2020, Maharashtra withdrew general consent to the CBI. In November 2020, Kerala, Jharkhand, and Punjab withdrew general consent to the CBI. Tripura and Mizoram had previously withdrawn general consent to the CBI as well. Altogether, as things stood in November 2021, eight states required prior consent before the CBI can investigate crimes in their territory. 

On 4 March, Meghalaya has withdrawn general to CBI, becoming the ninth state to do so. Then, responding to a question, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh informed Rajya Sabha that a total of nine states had withdrawn general consent to the CBI to investigate cases in those states.

With the reversal of this decision, the CBI will no longer require the permission of the state government to probe cases in Maharashtra.

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