Kerala

BJP, Congress oppose the Kerala government's move to withdraw general consent to CBI

Pinarayi Vijayan  

 

A purported move by the Kerala government to withdraw the general consent given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to operate in its territory appeared to have become an irritant in the State's arguably fraught relationship with the Centre.

If implemented, Kerala will join a line-up of non-Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled States to ban the central agency from functioning in their respective jurisdiction without the explicit consent of the provincial government. The States include West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and, soon, Maharashtra.

BJP decries move

Union Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muralidharan on Saturday decried the government's reported plan to the ban the CBI.

BJP, Congress oppose the Kerala government's move to withdraw general consent to CBI
 

The State government wanted to fend off the CBI to cover up high-level corruption and save top leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) from being investigated for recurrent political murders in North Kerala, he said.

 

The Pinarayi Vijayan government had brazenly recruited top lawyers from New Delhi to prevent the CBI from investigating Life Mission, a State-agency involved in providing free housing for the poor, on the charge of violating the Foreign. Contribution (Regulation) Act. The CPI-M also feared that overlapping investigations by central law enforcement agencies into the UAE gold smuggling case and narcotic busts in Karnataka would reach the doorstep of its leadership, he added.

CPI(M) fears exposure: UDF

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the Congress-led United Democratic Front (LDF) would oppose the move to ban the CBI. He said the LDF wanted to conceal its corruption and other high crimes, including playing second fiddle to gold smugglers treasonously.

CPI defends move

State secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) Kanam Rajendran said Mr Muralidharan seemed to imply that the BJP owned the CBI. He said the Central government had without compunction used the CBI to destabilise non-BJP ruled States, and Kerala was no exception.

 

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) was aware of the plot to use the central law enforcement to discredit the government in the election year.

The CPI had on October 23 requested the LDF to recommend to the government to withdraw the free rein accorded to the CBI under the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act. The law clearly states that law and order and crime investigation are State subjects.

CPI(M) backs proposal

The CPI(M) had on Friday formally requested the government to explore legal options to curb the CBI from acting on its own volition in Kerala.

The CBI could probe local cases or charge-sheet suspects only with the permission of the State administration.

The agency cannot act on its own accord even in cases involving scheduled offences. The CBI does not require the consent of the State government only in investigations ordered by the Supreme Court of the High Court, the party felt.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 12:43:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/bjp-congress-oppose-the-kerala-governments-move-to-withdraw-general-consent-to-cbi/article32936085.ece

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