The General consent given to CBI to investigate by the Meghalaya government has been withdrawn.
Meghalaya becomes ninth state in the country to withdraw the general consent given to the premier investigative agency.
The CBI has to compulsorily obtain the consent of the state government concerned before beginning to investigate a crime in a state.
The Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, under which CBI operates, states that it needs consent for operation.
Officials cannot exercise powers and jurisdiction in any area in a State without obtaining the consent of the Government of that State.
This consent is either case-specific or general. The general consent allows CBI officials to conduct seamless investigation of officials of central government for corruption.
If there is no consent in general, the CBI has to apply each time to the state government to investigate a particular case.
Reasons for consent withdrawal
Currently, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, and Mizoram have withdrawn consent for CBI.
These states are ruled majorly by opposition parties and claim that CBI is being used by the central government to harass opposition leaders.
Effects of withdrawal
After withdrawal, the CBI will not be able to register any new case against officials of the central government or a private person in the state without obtaining consent from state government.
However, the CBI has right to investigate those cases that have been registered before the withdrawal of consent.
Decision of court
Courts have observed that withdrawing consent does not take away right of CBI to investigate central government employee just because his/her office is in a particular state.
The courts have said that withdrawal of consent will be applicable only when it exclusively concerns a state government employee.
More than 150 requests for sanction to investigate have been pending with the state governments where consent has been withdrawn.