Kerala is the latest state to withdraw the general consent given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe cases. The decision was finalised in a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday (November 4).
Last month, Maharashtra’s Maha Vikas Aghadi government had withdrawn the general consent given to the central investigating agency. Other non-BJP states in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan have also withdrawn the permission.
Recently, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had slammed central investigating agencies probing the gold smuggling case in the state for “exceeding their jurisdiction to malign and destabilise an elected state government.”
Related news: Maharashtra withdraws general consent to CBI
The CBI is under the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946. As per the Act, the investigating agency needs to take the permission of state governments for investigations on a case-to-case basis .
Section 6 of the DSPE Act says, “Consent of State Government to exercise of powers and jurisdiction: Nothing contained in section 5 shall be deemed to enable any member of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise powers and jurisdiction in any area in 5 (a State not being a Union Territory or railways area), without the consent of the government of that State.”
The states usually give “general consent” to the CBI. Apart from Kerala and Maharashtra, in the past, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan, all not ruled by the BJP, had withdrawn the general consent.
In 2018, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government led by Chandrababu Naidu had made the move and the Mamata Bannerjee government too followed suit. However, with a change in government in Andhra in 2019, chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy decided to again grant general consent.
In 2019, the Congress government in Chhattisgarh withdrew the general consent. This year, the same was followed by another Congress government, in Rajasthan.