‘Want to avoid political interference in probes’

Anil Deshmukh  

A day after the Maharashtra government withdrew its ‘general consent’ to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe cases in the State, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Thursday said the decision was taken to prevent possible political interference in the Mumbai Police’s ongoing investigation into the alleged role of three television channels in the Television Rating Points (TRP) scam.

“Henceforth, the CBI will need the Maharashtra government’s permission to probe any case. The agency cannot hold any investigation until sanctioned by the State government,” he said.

The government’s move comes a day after the CBI took over a case registered by the Uttar Pradesh Police against “unknown channels and persons” in the TRP scam. The development led to suspicion that the CBI might also take over the Mumbai Police’s investigation into a similar case.

Mr. Deshmukh recalled the manner in which the probe into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput was taken over by the CBI despite opposition from the Mumbai Police. He said, “Earlier, the CBI had taken up the investigation in some cases. We are concerned about the CBI being used to intervene in the ongoing TRP scam.”

The minister also recalled that a Supreme Court judge had described the Central agency as a “caged parrot” a few years ago.

Mr. Deshmukh, however, said the government believes the CBI is a premier investigation agency of the country. “The CBI was given a free pass by the earlier government. We have withdrawn it. We thought about political scores being settled through CBI,” he said.

The State Home Department’s order issued on Wednesday said, “In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, the government of Maharashtra hereby withdraws the consent accorded to the Members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment vide Government Order dated February 22, 1989.”

The Mumbai Police had registered an FIR on October 6 against three channels, including Republic TV, for allegedly manipulating TRPs. Republic TV has claimed innocence in the case and approached the courts.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 10:49:31 PM |

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