The Calcutta High Court has ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the killings in West Bengal’s Birbhum district.
- Main investigating agency of the GoI.
- Not a statutory body
- Derives its powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
- Works under the supervision of the CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) in matters pertaining to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
- India’s official representative with the INTERPOL.
Cases to investigate
- Economic and fiscal laws
- Crimes that have national and international ramifications
- Coordination with the activities of the various state police forces and anti-corruption agencies.
- Any case of public importance
- Maintaining crime statistics.
How does the CBI take up cases?
- CBI cannot take suo motu cognizance of a case in a state
- In order to take up corruption cases involving central government staff, it either needs general consent of the state government, or specific consent on a case-to-case basis.
- For all other cases, the state has to request an investigation by the CBI, and the Centre has to agree to the same.
- CBI can take over a case based on the orders of the High Court concerned or the Supreme Court.
What is the role of state consent in an investigation by the CBI?
- Since 2015, as many as nine states — Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Mizoram and Meghalaya — have withdrawn general consent to the CBI.
- Opposition-ruled states have alleged the CBI has been used by the ruling dispensation to unfairly target them.
- Withdrawal of general consent means that to probe any case in these states, CBI would have to take prior permission from the state government.
Source – Indian Express