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  • Context (HT | TOI): For the first time, Mizoram gives consent to CBI probes.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

  • CBI is a non-constitutional, non-statutory body.
  • CBI derives power to investigate from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
  • It is the nodal Indian agency that coordinates investigations on behalf of Interpol Member countries.
  • It functions under the Department of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension and Public Grievance.

Composition of CBI

  • The CBI is headed by a director.
  • He is assisted by a special director or an additional director and many joint directors, deputy inspector generals (DIG), superintendents of police (SP), and all other ranks of police.
  1. Appointment of CBI Director
    • Before the Lokpal Act was legislated, the CBI director was appointed by the DSPE Act.
    • Now, the Lokpal Act governs the appointment of the CBI director.
    • The Centre appoints the director based on the recommendation of a search committee comprising:
      1. Prime Minister as the chairperson
      2. CJI (or SC judge) and
      3. Leader of the Opposition.
  2. Tenure
    • The director of CBI has been provided security of two-year tenure by the CVC Act, 2003.

Powers / Functions

  • The Central Government can authorise CBI to investigate a crime in a state but only with the consent of the concerned State Government.
  • The Central police cannot investigate or enter the state without consent since police and public order are state subjects.
  • CBI can suo-moto investigate offenses only in the Union Territories (including Delhi).
  • The SC and HCs, however, can order the CBI to investigate a crime anywhere in the country without the consent of the State.
  • The CBI must mandatorily obtain the consent of the concerned state government before investigating crime in a state.
    • This is provided through Section 6 of The DSPE Act (“Consent of State Government to exercise of powers and jurisdiction”).
  • The consent of the state government to CBI can be either case-specific or general.
  • General consent is given to help the CBI seamlessly investigate corruption cases against central government employees in the concerned state.
    • Otherwise, it would require consent in every case.
  • States, including WB, Rajasthan, Kerala, and Maharashtra, have withdrawn the general consent.
    • It means the CBI needs case-specific consent to register any fresh case against a Central Government official or a private person in these states.
  • Withdrawal of general consent means that the CBI will not be able to register any fresh case involving central government officials or private persons in a particular state without the prior permission of that state.

Exceptions to General Consent

  • Even on withdrawal of the General Consent, the CBI will continue to investigate cases in a state registered before the withdrawal of the consent.
  • CBI would have the power to investigate cases registered in other states/UTs and involve people residing in the state that has withdrawn the consent.
  • Approval of the High Court and Supreme Court to investigate a case does away with the need for consent from the states.
  • Approval of local courts in a state provides CBI with the power to investigate cases in the state.
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