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Centre tells SC : CBI ‘Autonomous Body’ and ‘No control’ over it

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CBi Attorney General Supreem Court

Chaini Parwani –

Published On: November 17, 2021 at 12:50 IST

The Attorney General K.K. Venugopal contended in the Supreme Court that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is an Autonomous Body’ and the Centre has no ‘Control’ over it.

The Submission came to light two days after the Center directed Orders on criticism from Opposition parties like Congress stating that the Order was an incentive to silence disputes.

The Order modified tenures of the Directors of the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate from two years to a maximum of five years. 

The Attorney General’s contention came in a case filed by West Bengal, challenging the legality of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filing First Information Report (FIR) in the State’s Jurisdiction after it withdrew General Consent to CBI to Investigate cases in the State.

A Bench headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao heard the protest by Mr. Venugopal stating “The Defendant [Union of India] is not concerned under any of these issues. There is a Special Act called the DSPE Act and the officials of the Delhi Special Police Establishment are required to register cases… Registering FIR is purely by an autonomous body. The Union of India has no control. I am not registering or investigating any case.”

Senior Advocates Biswajit Bhattacharya and Siddharth Luthra representing West Bengal argued that the Centre and the CBI were Inextricably intertwined’.

A recent Affidavit filed by the Department of Personnel and highlighted that the Union has no Authority to rattle the autonomy of the CBI to conduct investigations, especially in cases of post-poll violence transferred to it by the Calcutta High Court in which the State Police were under a cloud.

Further, it was highlighted that the CBI was empowered to Investigate cases pertaining any of the Central subjects summarized in the Union List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. 

The Center alleged “All these would be traceable to Laws made by Parliament… the State Government would not have competence to use its police force to investigate these Offences.”

The Court Adjourned the Matter for a further Hearing after two weeks.

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