Explainer: The resolution passed in Bengal, can the state government stop the central investigative agencies?

New Delhi: Central agencies like CBI and ED are investigating many cases in West Bengal. Among them, several senior leaders of Trinamool Congress (TMC) are also accused. The state feels that these agencies are being misused at the behest of the Centre. A resolution has been passed in the West Bengal Assembly on Friday regarding this. Recently, Bihar had also withdrawn the ‘general consensus’ regarding the entry of CBI in the state. After this, the central investigating agency will have to take the approval of the state government before conducting raids in Bihar. The Bihar government had taken this step after the raids conducted by the CBI. Recently, central agencies had raided the hideouts of many RJD leaders. The question arises whether the central agencies also need the approval of the state governments for investigation and raids? What are the rules regarding this? Let us try to understand this thing here.

Can state governments stop CBI?
The CBI has been formed under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act 1946. Section 5 of the Act allows the central government to initiate investigations. However, Section 6 of the same Act states that the CBI is required to obtain the permission of the State Government for investigation of any case. Thus, it is absolutely correct that this central agency cannot investigate without the approval of the state government.

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The matter does not end here only. The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act does not permit any investigation to be conducted without the prior approval of the Central Government. It is applicable in cases where it involves employees of the rank of Joint Secretary and above to the Central Government and such officers as are appointed under the Central Act. However, the same section says that no such sanction is necessary for cases involving the on the spot arrest of a person on the charge of taking or attempting to take a bribe.

I don’t think Prime Minister Narendra Modi is behind the excesses of central agencies in the state.

Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister (West Bengal)

Campaign to stop central agencies has started
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had recently appealed to all the states. Rao had said that the states should withdraw the ‘general consent’ for the CBI. After this, the Bihar government withdrew the ‘general consent’. After this, whenever the CBI goes to Bihar for investigation or raids, it will have to take permission from the state government. It can be said that in this way the states can put an obstacle in the way of the central agencies.

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Which states have already imposed restrictions?
There are many states where the CBI has the power to investigate by ‘general consent’. This means that in those states the CBI is free to go for investigation without the approval of the state government. However, many states have banned it. Bengal and Bihar have also been included in such states. At the same time, in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashtra, Kerala, Jharkhand and Meghalaya, it is necessary for the CBI to get the approval of the states.

What are the rules for ED and NIA?
Like CBI, ED and NIA are also central agencies. It is another matter that the rules are different for them. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) usually investigates cases related to corruption. It does not require the approval of the state government for investigation. Similarly, NIA investigates national security and terrorist cases. It has the power to investigate in any state of the country. This also does not require permission from the state government for investigation.

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