Shortly after the new Congress Government took charge of the state of Chhattisgarh, the government banned the CBI in Chhattisgarh.
On Thursday, the Home Department sent a letter to the Union Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension Affairs and the Union Home Ministry on the directions of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, and said that the state’s home department withdraws the consent given to the Center in connection with the CBI in 2001. The Central Home Ministry had issued a notification to authorize the CBI to investigate the cases in Chhattisgarh.
Earlier, the Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal government had banned the CBI entry in their respective states. The CBI was banned to conduct raids and investigations, as the Opposition alleged that the states were losing faith in central agencies due to their “misuse” by the Modi government at the Centre.
A little earlier, CBI Director Alok Verma was sacked by a select committee headed by the PM. The PM Modi and Justice AK Sikri voted against Verma, while Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress voted in favour.
Since the formation of the State of Chhattisgarh, CBI investigated over half a dozen cases in 18 years. Reports have been submitted in all the cases. These include the investigation of Ramnagar Jaggi murder, Bilaspur’s journalist Sushil Pathak and the murder of Umesh Rajput of Chakra, SECL Coal scam, IAS BL Agarwal Bribery case, Bhangi’s manganese murder and former minister Rajesh Murat’s alleged porn CD scandal.
Reason for decision
This is being viewed as a big step before the Lok Sabha election. The investigation agencies of the state will be given the task of investigations. If needed, the state government will constitute a Special Investigation Team, which can be made under the leadership of the judicial officers along with the officers.
What does the law say
The provision of seeking consent from the states in the law of CBI formation is the agency formed by the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. Section 5 of the Act has given the powers of investigation to CBI in all the areas of the country. Section 6 states that without the consent of the state government the CBI can not enter the jurisdiction of that state. Andhra and West Bengal Governments had withdrawn the consent using Section-6.
The effect of this decision
CBI will not be able to directly investigate the Central officials, government undertakings and private persons in Chhattisgarh. Under the Prevention of Corruption Act, too, there will not be any CBI movement in the state.
Compelled to obey
CBI itself can not start investigating the matter. The state and central government can investigate the order or the order of the High Court and the Supreme Court. In such a case, if a state bans the CBI, the order of the state will be canceled after the order of the court.