CBI operates under Centre’s control: SC

A two-judge bench of the top court, led by Justice B R Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta, said as per provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, the CBI functions under the administrative control of the Union government.
CBI operates under Centre’s control: SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday held that as per the law, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) functions under the administrative control of the Union government and rejected the Centre’s objections to the maintainability of a lawsuit filed by the West Bengal government.

The West Bengal government had filed a lawsuit against the Centre alleging that the CBI is pressing ahead with its investigation into post-election violence in the state without securing the state government’s prior approval. The West Bengal government had withdrawn general consent for the CBI to probe cases or conduct raids in the state.

The Centre had objected to the maintainability of the state’s lawsuit against it, arguing that the CBI is an independent statutory body, and therefore, the Centre cannot be sued in the matter.

CBI operates under Centre’s control: SC
West Bengal's plea against the Centre on misuse of CBI maintainable, says SC

A two-judge bench of the top court, led by Justice B R Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta, said as per provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, the CBI functions under the administrative control of the Union government, and thus, the West Bengal government’s lawsuit is maintainable.

“In our view, the CBI is an organ or a body which is established by and which is under the superintendence of the Government of India in view of the statutory scheme as enacted by the DSPE Act,” the court held.

The court said a reading of the DSPE Act would reveal that right from the constitution of the special police force, which is called DSPE, issuance of notifications specifying the offences or classes of offences which are to be investigated by it, superintendence and administration of DSPE and extension of powers and jurisdiction of DSPE to areas beyond the Union Territories, “it is the Central government which is vitally concerned with”.

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