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  • 22 October, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

General Consent to CBI

General Consent to CBI

Important Points

  • It overturned the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government's decision.
  • As a result, the CBI will no longer need the state government's permission to conduct investigations in the state.

Mandatory consent:

  • The CBI is governed by The Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, and it must get the consent of the state government involved before commencing an investigation in a state.
  • Section 6 of the DSPE Act: State Government consent to exercise powers and jurisdiction.
  • Nothing in section 5 (titled "Extension of powers and jurisdiction of special police establishment to other areas") shall be construed to allow any member of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise powers and jurisdiction in any area in a State that is not a Union territory or railway area without the consent of that State's government.

Authority other than the NIA:

  • In this regard, the CBI's perspective differs from that of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
  • The NIA Act of 2008 governs the agency, which has jurisdiction throughout the country.

General Acceptance

The state government's permission to CBI can be either:

  • Case-specific
  • General permission is typically offered by states to assist the CBI in conducting a smooth investigation of cases of corruption involving federal government personnel in their states.
  • The CBI may commence inquiries assuming consent has already been provided.
  • In the absence of broad consensus, the CBI would have to seek permission from the state government in each individual instance, and before taking even minor acts.

Consent withdrawal

  • Historically, practically all states have given widespread approval to the CBI.
  • However, numerous states have begun to act differently since 2015.

States that have withdrawn their consent include:

  • Meghalaya became the eighth state to withdraw consent to the CBI in March 2022, following Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, and Mizoram.
  • Except for Mizoram and Meghalaya, all of these states are ruled by the anti-BJP opposition.
  • Maharashtra: Of the nine states mentioned above, Maharashtra has now reversed its decision and reinstated general consent.
  • Maharashtra has regained trust after the BJP reclaimed control in the state in an alliance with the Shiv Sena's Shinde faction.
  • Mizoram was the first state to withdraw consent in 2015. The Congress ruled the state during the time.

Reason for withdrawal:

  • At the time of withdrawal, the states claimed that the central government was unfairly targeting the opposition via the CBI.

Consequences of Withdrawal of General Consent

No new cases are being registered:

  • It means that the CBI will be unable to file any new cases involving central government officials or private citizens in the state without the state government's permission.

Power loss:

  • CBI officers will lose all police powers as soon as they enter the state, unless the state government has granted them permission.

About the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

  • It is India's top investigating police organisation.
  • It is an elite force that plays a significant role in preserving values in public life and guaranteeing the health of the national economy.
  • It is also India's primary police agency, coordinating investigations on behalf of Interpol member countries.


  • Its origins can be traced back to the Special Police Establishment, which was established in 1941 to investigate bribery and corruption during World War II.
  • It was established in 1963 by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs in response to the advice of the Santhanam committee.
  • It is administered by the Ministry of Personnel, Pensions, and Public Grievances of the Government of India.

Way Forward

  • The establishment of an independent umbrella institution is urgently required in order to bring together multiple central agencies such as the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate, and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office under one roof.
  • This body must be established by statute, with its powers, functions, and jurisdictions clearly defined.
  • Independence: The organisation shall be led by an independent and unbiased authority, who is chosen by a committee similar to the one that selects the CBI Director.
  • Its leader could be assisted by deputies with expertise in several fields.
  • Connection between the State and Central Agencies: A harmonious relationship between the State and Central Agencies was required, and collaboration was essential, given that the purpose of all of those organisations was to secure justice.
  • Knowledge upgradation: There is a need for regular knowledge upgradation, deployment of cutting-edge technology, and international exchange programmes to acquire best practises.
  • The CBI's role, jurisdiction, and legal powers must be clearly defined

Source: The Indian Express

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