CBI and Consent of States

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 26, 2022, 6:47

CBI and Consent of States refer to the permission that the CBI needs to get from any State Government before it can investigate a crime occurring in that state. CBI is governed by The Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946. According to Section 6 of the Act, to enter any area within a state that does not belong to the Railways or is not a Union Territory, the consent of the State Government is mandatory.

The National Investigation Agency has greater powers since unlike the requirement of CBI and Consent of States, it can access any part of the country without the consent of State Governments.

CBI and consent of states - Types of Consent

When it comes to CBI and Consent of States, there are two types of consent: specific and general. When corruption charges against central government employees are being investigated, the CBI would need general consent. Without this, they can't take even a small action. The exception, however, is when the Supreme Court or a State High Court orders such an investigation.

Specific consent with regard to CBI and Consent of States is sought by the CBI when general consent is withdrawn. Consent is given for a specific case, and if there is no specific consent, the CBI will not enjoy the powers of police personnel.

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Can the CBI Challenge the Withdrawal of General Consent?

Yes, the CBI can challenge the court's decision if general consent is withdrawn with respect to the CBI and consent of states. Sometimes, high courts can uphold the State Government's decision, as witnessed in Punjab. In such cases, the CBI can approach the local court for a search warrant and proceed with the investigation.

There are exceptions to the need for general consent for old cases. CBI can continue investigating such cases unless the State Government takes back general consent. Cases being probed through a court order can also be investigated without general consent.

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Different Cases Investigated by the CBI

There are three different types of cases investigated by the CBI. They are -

  • Anti-Corruption Cases

Charges of corruption against public servants are investigated under this category by the Anti-Corruption Division.

  • Economic Offences

Charges relating to black money, money laundering, bank frauds, and similar crimes are investigated by the Economic Offences Division of the CBI.

  • Special Crimes

Murders or crimes connected to espionage, banned substances, and narcotics come under this category and are investigated by the Special Crimes Division.

CBI and Consent of States - Concerned With

As far as CBI and Consent of States is concerned, the following states have withdrawn general consent:

  • Mizoram
  • West Bengal
  • Rajasthan
  • Maharashtra
  • Chattisgarh
  • Kerala
  • Jharkhand

Punjab has not withdrawn general consent but has put on hold specific content for some cases.

Calcutta High Court has ruled that CBI can probe charges against a Central Government employee even though West Bengal has withdrawn general consent. However, CBI cannot conduct investigations against State Government Employees.

CBI and Consent of States lay down the rules for the investigation of offences by CBI. CBI must obtain either general or specific consent before it can investigate any offences by Central Government officials. Some states have withdrawn general consent.

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FAQs on CBI and Consent of States

Q.1. What is CBI and Consent of States?

CBI and Consent of States is the permission of the State required to investigate corruption cases against Central Government employees.

Q.2. What are the Two Types of Consent for CBI and Consent of States?

General and Specific Consent are the two types of consent required under CBI and Consent of States.

Q.3. What is the exception to CBI and Consent of States?

Where specific consent is given, an exception is made to CBI and Consent of States.

Q.4. Which States Have Opted out of CBI and Consent of States?

Mizoram, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Kerala, and Jharkhand have withdrawn from CBI and Consent of States.

Q.5. Does the Center Have Legal Power in CBI and Consent of States?

Yes, with the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Centre can exercise legal power in CBI and Consent of States.