Punjab Joins List of Opposition-Ruled States to Withdraw 'General Consent' to CBI

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Chandigarh, November 9: Days after several Opposition-ruled states withdrew the general consent granted to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Punjab enacted the same measure. The Captain Amarinder Singh-led government, in a notification issued late on Monday, made "prior consent" of the state government mandatory for the CBI to takeover the probe. Kerala Withdraws General Consent to CBI After Maharashtra; Know What General Consent Is and What Happens if It is Withdrawn.

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The prior consent, said the Punjab government notification, would be granted on "case to case" basis. The move will effectively bar the CBI from conducting investigations into the state without the permission of the elected government.

In the past month, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan had issued similar orders to withdraw the general consent accorded to the CBI. Last week, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government also withdrew the automatic consent granted to the CBI.

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The list also includes West Bengal, where, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had withdrawn the permit granted to the CBI in 2018. The erstwhile Andhra Pradesh government led by Chandrababu Naidu had also taken a similar measure in 2019.

The recent withdrawals of general consent for CBI was initiated by the Maharashtra government. The decision was taken shortly after the CBI launched a parallel probe into the "fake TRP ratings" case, after the Mumbai Police took action against officials of three news channels. The central agency began its probe on the basis of a complaint filed in Uttar Pradesh.

What is 'General Consent' to CBI?

The CBI is a body governed under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DPSEA), which grants it complete jurisdiction to probe cases in the national capital. To takeover the investigation in other states, it requires either general consent or specific consent from the respective state governments -- in accordance to Section 6 of the DPSE Act.

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