Mumbai: In a major development, the Maharashtra Government has withdrawn the general consent granted by it in 1989 to the CBI.
A notification by order and in the name of the Governor of Maharashtra, signed by Deputy Secretary to Government, reads that in exercise of the powers conferred by section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, the Government of Maharashtra thereby withdrew the consent accorded to the members of Delhi Special Police Establishment.
The legal powers of investigation of the CBI are derived from the DSPE Act 1946, which confers powers, duties, privileges and liabilities on the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) and officers of the Union Territories. The central government may extend to any area (except Union Territories) the powers and jurisdiction of the CBI for investigation, subject to the consent of the government of the concerned state.
In order to conduct such investigations within a state, the CBI is required to take prior consent from the State Government. This consent can be in the form of a 'general consent' under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, or a 'specific consent' concerning individual cases.
Almost every state in India has provided the CBI with a general consent to investigate within their borders; however, on occasion, states may withdraw this general consent and require the CBI to take specific consent for individual cases.
In November 2018, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal governments withdrew general consents for the CBI to investigate, and accused the Central Government of using federal agencies to destabilise state politics. In January 2019, Chhattisgarh also withdrew general consent to the CBI. In July 2020, Rajasthan withdrew general consent to the CBI.