Rajasthan revokes general consent for CBI to probe cases in state
The Congress government in Rajasthan has withdrawn the general consent accorded to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe cases in the state, making it mandatory for the central agency to seek the state government’s express permission before investigating cases within its borders.
The Rajasthan home department issued the orders on July 19, a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded a CBI probe into the allegations by the Congress in Rajasthan that leaked audio tapes on social media proved the BJP was in collusion with rebel Congress leaders in an attempt to bring down the Ashok Gehlot government.
“The government revokes all previous general consents issued by the state government under section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946,” the notification issued by the home department said.
“In view of revocation of all previous general consents issues earlier vide notifications, prior consent of government of Rajasthan shall be required to be taken on case to case basis for investigation of any offence or class of offence under section 3 of the DSPE Act, 1946 by the DSPE,” it added.
Rohit Kumar Singh, Rajasthan’s additional chief secretary, home, said: “Its administrative provisions were already there, it was notified yesterday [Sunday].”
In 2018, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh — all states ruled by non-BJP parties — withdrew the general consent to CBI, alleging that the Centre was misusing the agency to harass opponents.
The government of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, which came into power in Andhra 2019, decided to reverse the decision.
CBI comes under the DSPE Act and it requires states to give the agency a general consent to act against central government employees within a state as public order and police are under the purview of state governments, which routinely renew the permission.
Officials said in June 1990, too, the then Rajasthan government refused to give such ‘’ general consent’’ to the Centre, according to news agency PTI.
The BJP questioned the Rajasthan government’s move, saying there was an “indirect emergency” in the state.
“The way the state government misused the SOG and the ACB and it was afraid of CBI action... There is something fishy,” BJP state president Satish Poonia told reporters.
There was no immediate response from the Congress.