Kerala joined the list of non-BJP-ruled states of West Bengal, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra to withdraw its general consent given to the CBI.
On Wednesday, Kerala joined the list of non-BJP-ruled states of West Bengal, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra to withdraw its general consent given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The decision was on the table for quite some time and was finalized in the Cabinet meeting. The probe agency, from now on, will have to seek prior permission from the state government before registering a case in the state.
Maharashtra’s Maha Vikas Aghadi government had recently had decided to block the CBI in the state. The decision saw a massive uproar from the BJP and its supporters as the decision was announced a day after CBI decided to investigate the TRP scam in Maharashtra. Moreover, the Mumbai Police was earlier investigating the death case of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput which was later taken over by the central agency after his father lodged a complaint in Patna. However, the state government had said that this order will not impact the ongoing investigation of cases.
As it comes under the DSPE Act, CBI requires states to give the agency a general consent to act against central government employees within a state as public order and police come under the state governments, which routinely renew this permission.
West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, in late 2018, withdrew the general consent to CBI for investigations, alleging that the Centre was misusing the agency to harass opponents. The YSR government, however, reversed the decision after it came to power in 2019.
In January 2019, Chhattisgarh, ruled by the Congress, withdrew the general consent to CBI. The Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan also withdrew the consent in July 2020.
The Kerala government and CBI had locked horns over the latter’s ongoing probe into Life Mission, a state housing project for the homeless. The CBI was probing alleged irregularities in this project. The Kerala high court, in October, stayed CBI investigation considering a plea by the state government.