सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने कहा कि राज्य में मामलों की जांच कर रही सीबीआई को चुनौती देने वाला केंद्र के खिलाफ पश्चिम बंगाल का मुकदमा 'सुनवाई योग्य' है

सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने कहा कि राज्य में मामलों की जांच कर रही सीबीआई को चुनौती देने वाला केंद्र के खिलाफ पश्चिम बंगाल का मुकदमा 'सुनवाई योग्य' है

Supreme Court says West Bengal's suit against Centre challenging CBI probing cases in state ‘maintainable’

The Supreme Court has deemed legally maintainable the West Bengal government's lawsuit against the central government's directive

  • National News
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  • 10, Jul, 2024
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Tamanna Varshney
  • @TamannaVarshney

Supreme Court says West Bengal's suit against Centre challenging CBI probing cases in state ‘maintainable’

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the lawsuit filed by the West Bengal government against the central government's decision to allow the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct investigations within the state's territory is legally maintainable. This decision came from a bench comprising Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta, who stated that the lawsuit concerning the CBI's investigations, despite the state government's withdrawal of consent, should proceed according to the law and based on its own merits.

The lawsuit was initiated by the West Bengal government in response to the CBI continuing to file cases even after the state revoked its general consent for the central agency to conduct probes within its jurisdiction in 2018. The state's general consent is a prerequisite for the CBI to operate within its borders, and the withdrawal of this consent was a significant move by the state government led by Mamata Banerjee.

The Supreme Court had previously reserved its decision on the maintainability of the suit on May 8, following arguments presented by both parties. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the West Bengal government, argued that once the state had withdrawn its consent on November 16, 2018, the central government no longer had the authority to permit the CBI to enter the state for investigative purposes. Sibal emphasized that the state government's withdrawal of consent was a clear indication that the CBI should not have the jurisdiction to conduct any investigations within West Bengal without explicit permission.

On the other hand, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the central government, countered this argument by stating that the Union government or its departments do not exert any supervisory control over the CBI's investigations. Mehta's argument suggested that the CBI operates independently of the central government's direct control and that its investigative authority is not necessarily invalidated by the state's withdrawal of consent.

The legal dispute centers around the interpretation of the consent requirement and the extent of the CBI's jurisdiction. The West Bengal government contends that its revocation of consent effectively bars the CBI from conducting any investigations within the state, while the central government maintains that the CBI's mandate and investigative powers remain unaffected by such a withdrawal.

This ruling by the Supreme Court allows the West Bengal government's lawsuit to move forward and be examined on its own merits. The decision underscores the complexities involved in the relationship between state and central authorities, particularly concerning law enforcement and investigative jurisdiction. It also highlights the ongoing tensions between the West Bengal government and the central government, with the former seeking to assert its autonomy and the latter defending the prerogatives of a central investigative agency.

As the case proceeds, it will likely delve deeper into the legal and constitutional implications of the state's withdrawal of consent and the CBI's authority to investigate within state boundaries. The outcome of this lawsuit could set a significant precedent regarding the balance of power between state governments and central investigative agencies, potentially influencing future interactions and legal disputes of a similar nature.

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Tamanna Varshney

  • @TamannaVarshney