CBI Current Affairs - 2019

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Chhattisgarh withdraws general consent accorded to the CBI to probe cases in the state

The government of Chhattisgarh has withdrawn the general consent accorded to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the cases in the state. The general consent was withdrawn under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.

Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) derives its powers to investigate the cases from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 provides for a special police force to investigate the offences specified by the central government through the Gazette notification.

Section 6

Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 makes the consent of the states mandatory for the CBI to exercise its power and jurisdiction in the state.  The government of Chhattisgarh has revoked section 6 of the Delhi Special police investigation act to withdraw the general consent.

Reasons for Withdrawal

The government of Chhattisgarh has cited the following reasons for the withdrawal:

  • The credibility and integrity of the CBI have been compromised under the present central government.
  • As a result of the free hand to CBI to operate in the state, the law and order and state officers were being disturbed.

The CBI is now required to seek permission from the state government before initiating any investigations.

Chhattisgarh has joined the list of West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh which have withdrawn the general consent for CBI to undertake investigations.

SC verdict on reinstating CBI chief Alok Kumar Verma: Key Facts

The Supreme Court of India has reinstated CBI director Alok Kumar Verma, setting aside the Centre’s order to divest him of his powers. The Supreme Court has restrained him from taking any major policy decision till the CVC probe into corruption charges against him is over.

Observations made by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has further asked the high-powered committee which selects and appoints the CBI director to take any further decisions once the CVC submits its report after the probe.

The selection committee of the CBI director comprises the Prime Minister, the leader of opposition and the Chief Justice of India.

There is no provision in the law which permits the government to divest the CBI director of his powers and functions without prior consent from the high powered select committee.

Supreme Court cited the Vineet Narain verdict of 1997 where the Supreme Court underlined the fact that the tenure of the CBI director had been fixed to two years after the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act.

Vineet Narain verdict of 1997

The Supreme Court had delivered a landmark verdict in the case of Vineet Narain vs Union of India case, popularly known as the Jain hawala case. The Supreme Court in its verdict had pronounced measures to shield the CBI director from outside interference and make the director’s post more transparent. The measures are:

  • The CBI director shall have a minimum tenure of two years, regardless of the date of his superannuation.
  • The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) shall be responsible for the efficient functioning of CBI.
  • The transfer of an incumbent Director, CBI in an extraordinary situation, including the need for him to take up a more important assignment, should have the approval of the selection committee.

The Supreme Court had laid down these measures recognising the need to provide permanent insulation to agencies such as CBI against extraneous influences to enable them to discharge their duties in the manner required for proper implementation of the rule of law.