The jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) regarding lodging an FIR and conducting probes within a particular state is being questioned by various States. However, the power of States to withhold consent to the CBI is not absolute. Explain with special reference to the federal character of India. (250 words) [2021]

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is a national level investigative agency in India that is responsible for investigating cases of corruption, economic crimes, and other serious offenses.

  • According to the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act of 1946, the CBI derives its powers from the Indian constitution in relation to the federal character of the country, which divides powers and responsibilities between the central government and the states in Union list and State list respectively.
  • In terms of investigative powers, the CBI has the authority to investigate cases within a particular state if it has the consent of the state government. This is because the states are responsible for law and order within their own boundaries, and the CBI is required to respect this division of powers.
  • However, the power of states to withhold consent to the CBI is not absolute. The CBI can still investigate cases within a particular state if it has the authorization of the central government or if it is investigating cases that have national or international implications.
  • In addition, the CBI’s investigative powers are subject to judicial review, which means that its actions can be challenged in court if they are deemed to be unlawful or beyond the scope of its mandate.

Overall, the jurisdiction of the CBI is complex and depends on the particular circumstances of each case. However, the CBI’s powers are ultimately derived from the Indian constitution and are subject to oversight and review by other branches of government.

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