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Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal Governments Revoke ‘General Consent’ from CBI

The reason cited is that the CBI has been reduced to a disaster which takes instruction only from the BJP-led centre.

Image Courtesy: NewsX

At a time when the Central Bureau of Investigation is mired in numerous controversies, TDP ruled Andhra Pradesh and TMC ruled West Bengal have withdrawn the general consent given to the CBI to investigate any case in their states. With this move, the centre’s investigative agency has to seek the permission of the two states every time in order to probe cases.

“Chandrababu Naidu has done the right thing in saying he won’t allow CBI in his state. We will also do the same in our state. We will cross-check the laws. They (the BJP) are giving instructions to agencies from their party offices. From CBI to RBI, they have turned institutions into disasters,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Benerjee told TMC supporters on November 16.

Also Read: How Modi Government Is Destroying Key Indian Institutions

Earlier, Naidu had accused the BJP of conspiring with Andhra Pradesh opposition leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy to topple his government by using central agencies such as the CBI and the income tax department.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal extended his support to Naidu’s move. “Chandrababu did the right thing. Modi ji is misusing the CBI and the Income Tax department. Why did not the CBI catch scamsters of notebandi (demonetisation), Vijay Mallya, Rafale, Sahara Birla diary, etc. Naidu ji do not allow Income Tax officials also to enter your state,” Kejriwal tweeted.

The CBI functions under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act. As per section 6 of the act, consent of state government is required for exercise of powers and jurisdiction. The act states, “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 a State, not being a Union territory or railway area, without the consent of the Government of that State.”

Among the cases the CBI is currently probing in Andhra Pradesh are- the cases of meat exporter Moin Qureshi and businessman Sana Sathish Babu. However, there is ambiguity whether the agency can conduct searches in the state without consent while probing old cases.

Also Watch: Spy vs. Spy: Institutional Collapse of CBI

CBI Crisis

On October 23, the central government had sent the CBI director Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana on leave. Both Verma and Asthana had charged each other with corruption allegations.

Since then, Verma has approached the Supreme Court challenging his government's move. Subsequently, the apex court has ordered the central vigilance commission to probe into the allegations against both Verma and Asthana.

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