Punjab revokes ‘general consent’ to CBI

The Congress-led government in Punjab has revoked its general consent to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for probing cases in the state, joining several other non-BJP ruled states that have carried out a similar move.

The states such as West Bengal, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh had already withdrawn the “general consent” to the CBI.

According to the state government notification issued on November 8, a prior consent of the Punjab government will be required by the CBI, which comes under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, to investigate any case in the state.

In exercise of the power conferred by section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (Central Act No 25 of 1946), the Government of Punjab hereby withdraws the general consent accorded to the members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment, anytime herein before, as per the notification issued by the Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Home Affairs and Justice.

In view of revocation of all previous general consents issued earlier, prior consent of the Government of Punjab shall be required, hereinafter, on a case-to-case basis for investigation of any offence or class of offences under section 3 of the aforesaid Act, by the Delhi Special Police Establishment, it further said.

The Punjab government had earlier withdrawn consent from the CBI for investigating the 2015 sacrilege incidents there after the state assembly had passed a resolution in this regard in 2018.

Later, it handed over the probe into incidents of desecration of religious texts to the special investigation team (SIT) of the Punjab police.

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Meanwhile, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh took exception to the step of revoking general consent, saying there was apparently no provocation to do so.

It seems the Amarinder Singh government is scared that various “mafia gangs” working in the state, mostly under the “patronage” of the Congress leaders, do not come under the CBI investigation, he alleged.

“We all know how a large number of mafia gangs are operating in sand mining, drug peddling and illicit liquor distribution. The entire state has been converted into a mafia state where the police was deliberately turning a blind eye to such nefarious operations. It seems that the Congress government has found an escape route by shutting the doors on the CBI,” said Chugh in a statement.

The chief minister wants the mafia raj to continue in the state, which is why the consent to CBI has been withdrawn, Chugh said.

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