Why Has CBI Hundred Unsolved Fraud Cases Lying In Its Closet?
Unlike the recent ABG Shipyard mega fraud case, many states have not given their consent to the Central Bureau of Investigation to start a full-blown investigation. Such more than 100 cases are lying unresolved and untouched with the CBI.
The matter of general consent came into conversation as the CBI weighed in on the status of the investigation into the alleged Rs 22,842 crore bank fraud by Gujarat-based ABG Shipyard. The case could be investigated after several banks requested a probe should be put into action, because the case will extend from New Delhi to Gujarat and therefore does not require consent of any one state.
“It has become difficult to register cases in states that have withdrawn general consent under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act,” the CBI source said. The powers of the CBI are defined under the DSPE Act. The Act states that its jurisdiction extends to all states under Section 5 of the Act. However, according to Section 6, the CBI can probe or conduct raids only with the consent of the state government.
The eight states that haven’t given consent for the CBI to probe cases on their turf are Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, and Mizoram. All except one – Mizoram, where the leading party is an NDA ally – are led by the Opposition. The hands are tied. But in 2021, a parliamentary committee asked the government to assess the need for amending existing laws or bring out a new legislation to clearly define the mandate of the CBI and vest more power in it. The recommendation came after the CBI informed the panel that its investigations were impeded by the withdrawal of general consent by some states.