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How Does the CBI Take Up Cases?

The Calcutta High Court has ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the killings in West Bengal’s Birbhum district.

About CBI
  • 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states — Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Mizoram and Meghalaya — have withdrawn general consent to the CBI.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

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October 2022
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