NEW DELHI: Expressing concern over eight states not permitting CBI to investigate cases, the Supreme Court on Monday said “it is not a desirable position” and decided to examine the issue.
The court took note of the affidavit filed by CBI director SK Jaiswal in which he said that the CBI’s functioning as an investigating agency and also as a prosecuting authority was being hampered with eight states — West Bengal, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram — having withdrawn their general consent, forcing the agency to approach states to get consent on a case-to-case basis.
Directed by the apex court to place a “report card” on the CBI’s efficiency as a prosecuting agency, the director told the court that these eight states consented in less than 18% of cases out of 150 requests made by the agency from 2018 to June, 2021.
He also pointed out that delay in trial is also caused because of stays granted by HCs. The director said that the CBI’s legal department is at present handling 13,291 appeals pending in sessions courts, HCs and the SC. He also gave details of pending trials in 9,757 cases — in 500 cases trial had been pending for more than 20 years and in 921 cases for 15-20 years.
The bench said that both the issues needed to be examined and issued notice to all concerned states and high courts.
The CBI said that the problem faced by the agency is because of the “peculiar nature” of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946 which regulates the CBI. As per the law, the CBI requires the consent of the state government to conduct investigation within its territorial jurisdiction.
“Requests in approximately 78% of cases were pending, which mainly pertained to bank frauds of high magnitude impacting the economy of the country. The delay caused in taking up cases by the CBI due to any of the reasons mentioned above, at times, leads to destruction or dissipation of evidence. This is detrimental not only for the investigation by the CBI but also for subsequent prosecution of cases,” Jaiswal said.




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