New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Amarinder Singh-led Punjab government on Monday withdrew the general consent extended by it to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe cases in the state. The federal agency will now need the state’s permission to carry out any investigation in the state.

The development comes days after Jharkhand government revoked its general consent extended to the premier probe agency. Punjab has now joined the list of non-BJP ruled states including Kerala, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra that have withdrawn general consent, alleging that the BJP-led government at the centre was misusing the agency to harass political opponents.

The CBI's power to investigate cases is derived from Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DPSEA). This law makes the CBI a special wing of Delhi Police and thus its original jurisdiction is limited to Delhi. The probe agency needs consent of the state government in whose territorial jurisdiction, the CBI has to conduct an investigation. Recently, a Calcutta High Court order expanded its jurisdiction to investigate the central government employees in West Bengal without seeking specific consent of the state government.

The CBI manual says, "The central government can authorize CBI to investigate such a crime in a state but only with the consent of the concerned state government. The Supreme Court and High Courts, however, can order CBI to investigate such a crime anywhere in the country without the consent of the state."

Last month, the Maharashtra government withdrew the general consent it extended to the probe agency to conduct probe in the state, after the CBI filed a case to investigate the ratings scam on the basis of a complaint filed in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh. Tripura and Mizoram also have revoked general consent in the past.

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha