The Maharastra Government Wednesday revoked general consent orders issued to the Central Investigation Agency (CBI) under the ‘Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946′.
As a result of the revocation of the general consent, CBI, which comes under the Central Government, will now need to obtain prior consent of the Maharashtra Government on a case-to-case basis for investigation of offences in that State.
Section 3 of the DSPE Act provides that the Central Government may, by notification, specify the offences or classes of offences, which are to be investigated by the Delhi Special Police Establishment, also known as CBI.
Further, Section 5 of the DSPE Act confers power on the Central Government to extend to any area the powers and jurisdiction of the CBI for the investigation of any offences or classes of offences specified in a notification under section 3.
However, the power under Section 5 of the DSPE Act is subject to Section 6, which provides for the consent of State Government to exercise of powers and jurisdiction by the CBI under Section 5 read with Section 3. Section 6 of the DSPE Act reads as follows-
“Nothing contained in section 5 shall be deemed to enable any member of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise powers and jurisdiction in any area in [a State, not being a Union territory or railway area], without the consent of the Government of that State.]”.
Maharashtra Government’s decision came a day after the CBI acted on an FIR in the TRP ‘scam’ case based on a reference from the Uttar Pradesh Police. The case was handed over to the CBI by the UP government.
The Mumbai Police on October 8 claimed to have busted a “racket” where Television Rating Points (TRPs) of certain channels, including Republic TV, were being manipulated illegally.
Addressing the media, the Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said the city police was probing an alleged TRP scam where certain news channels manipulated Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data to boost their ratings. He identified Republic TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema by name.
Earlier this year the Congress-led Rajasthan Government had also revoked the general consent to the CBI.
This article was first published in The Leaflet.