Supreme Court restores 9,000 trials in CBI courts
The Supreme Court held the order of the Gauhati High Court, which had questioned the legality of the formation of CBI, as erroneous and contrary to the express provisions of the constitution and DSPE Act, 1946. The apex court has restored more than 9,000 criminal trials pending in CBI courts throughout the country.
The court has also empowered the CBI to carry on with its probes in the coal scam and 1,000 other cases.
The decision came when an urgent petition was filed by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), nodal Ministry for the CBI.
Noticeably, the establishment of the CBI was earlier challenged in the Rajasthan High Court in 1985 but the petition was quashed.
What is the issue of CBI and Guahati High Court?
Earlier, the Gauhati High Court set aside the Union Home Ministry resolution by which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was formed in 1963. As per the court, the CBI was neither an organ nor part of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DPSE) and thus could not be treated as a “police force” constituted under the DSPE Act.
While the court did not declare the DSPE Act, 1946 an invalid legislation, it held that the CBI was neither an organ nor part of the DSPE and the CBI couldn’t be treated as a police force constituted under the DSPE Act, 1946.
As per the HC, the Resolution, dated April 1, 1963, was neither produced before the President, nor did it ever receive the assent of the President, therefore, the Resolution cannot even be termed the decision of the Government of India and the records show that the CBI is a newly constituted body and not same as DSPE.
What is Delhi Special Police Establishment (DPSE) Act, 1946?
DSPE Act, 1946 is a legislation which provides for the constitution of aspecial police force in Delhi for the investigation of certain offences in the Union territories, for the superintendence and administration of the said force and for the extension to other areas of the power and jurisdiction of the members of the said force in regards to the investigation of specific offences as mentioned in this law.
Origin of CBI:
The Central Bureau of Investigation was initially established as the Special Police Establishment (SPE) which was set up in 1941 by the Government of India. The functions of the SPE then were to investigate cases of bribery and corruption in transactions with the War & Supply Deptt. of India during World War II. Even after the end of the War, the need for a Central Government agency to investigate cases of bribery and corruption by Central Government employees was felt. The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act was therefore brought into force in 1946. The CBI’s power to investigate cases is derived from this Act.
- In 1963, SPE acquired its current name Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by a Home Ministry resolution dated April1, 1963, and the bureau was consolidated.