States’ power to block CBI not absolute: Centre tells SC


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that the right of state governments to withdraw consent for CBI probe is not absolute as per Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act. The West Bengal government had challenged the ongoing CBI probe into post-poll violence, saying it had not sought its consent. Since the Mamata government has already withdrawn its general consent to the CBI, the FIRs lodged by it cannot be proceeded with, it argued. 

It was the Calcutta High Court that had tasked the CBI to probe the cases. In its affidavit, the Centre said: “The statutory power conferred upon the State Government under Section 6 of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act is always coupled with a responsibility to exercise that power on a case-to-case basis.” 
During a brief hearing, a bench of justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai said the arguments in the case need to be heard in detail, and slated the hearing for November 16.

The Centre said Bengal can’t issue blanket orders withdrawing all probe powers from the CBI. Its affidavit referred to several cases highlighted by the state, saying some of them also relate to offences of corruption against Central government employees. “It is always desirable and in the larger interest of justice that the Central agency conducts the investigation in such cases,” the Centre’s affidavit stated.

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