Meghalaya: Withdrawal of Consent to CBI

Meghalaya has become the ninth state of the country to withdraw consent to CBI to investigate cases in the state.

About general consent

the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, governs the CBI and it is mandatory to obtain the concerned state government’s consent before beginning to investigate a crime in a state. States typically give a general consent to assist the CBI in conducting a seamless investigation of cases of corruption involving central government personnel in their states. This is consent by default otherwise CBI would have to seek permission from the state government in every case, even for small tasks.

What is the meaning of withdrawal of consent?

It means that the CBI will not be able to file any new cases involving central government officials or private persons in the state without the permission of the state government. CBI officers who will be entering the state that has withdrawn consent will lose all powers of a police officer as soon as they enter the state unless they have received permission from the government of the state.

Calcutta High Court’s judgment regarding the investigation conducted by CBI in a state that has withdrawn consent.

Calcutta High Court had declared that the central agency cannot be barred from investigating a central government employee in another state even if the central government employee is posted in a state that has withdrawn consent. The withdrawal of permission would be applicable in circumstances involving only state government employees. In the Supreme Court, this ruling has been challenged.

Which states have withdrawn consent?

Before Meghalaya, the eight other states that had withdrawn consent to the CBI are Punjab, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Mizoram, and Kerala.

The first state to withdraw consent was Mizoram which did so in 2015.

What is the stand of CBI?

CBI can take advantage of the Calcutta HC order till and if it is overturned by the Supreme Court. Even if consent is revoked, CBI can retain the power to investigate cases that had been registered before the withdrawal of consent. Also, a case registered anywhere else in the country involving individuals stationed in these states extended the CBI’s authority to these states.

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