Legal experts on Friday expressed apprehensions about the implications of the Gauhati high court judgment, which declared as illegal the 1963 resolution of the home ministry, by which the CBI was set-up.
They were of the opinion that till the decision is stayed by the Supreme Court, the CBI will not be in a position to register fresh cases or make any arrest and the fate of cases pending with the CBI was uncertain.
Senior advocate KTS Tulsi said the high court judgement was contrary to the Supreme Court verdict in the Vineet Narayan case. On whether the CBI functioning would be affected, Tulsi said: "The CBI can file charge sheets which it is scheduled to do so during this time before the verdict is set aside but it will not be able to make any search or conduct any arrests or investigate any matter."
His views were echoed by former additional solicitor general Mukul Rohatgi, who said, "This is a judgement of momentous proportions and I hope the Supreme Court will stay it."
Rohatgi said the CBI would be unable to do anything unless the centre moves the Supreme Court and the verdict is stayed.
"As of today, CBI cannot register any case, it cannot interrogate anyone. Whomsoever they have arrested will have a right to go to court and seek release, in the present situation, said Rohatgi, who is representing several corporate executives in the 2G telecom spectrum allocation case and other high profile matters.
Former law minister and veteran lawyer Shanti Bhushan said the HC judgment was totally wrong and will be reversed by the SC.
"CBI has been recognised by the SC and if a high court passes such an order, it is rather surprising and the judgement is flawed," he said.