Friday, December 4, 2020

Maharashtra: Uddhav Thackeray government blocks CBI from investigating cases in the state, withdraws general consent

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— Consider reading the article Maharashtra: Uddhav Thackeray government blocks CBI from investigating cases in the state, withdraws general consent on OpIndia website —

At a time when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing several high-profile cases in Maharashtra, the Uddhav Thackeray govt in the state has taken a decision to block the central agency to investigate any case in the state.

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday passed an order withdrawing its consent for the CBI to probe cases in the state. As per law, the central investigative agency needs the permission of states if it wants to probe any case in the states. To avoid requiring permission for each case, states have issued blanket consent for such probes by CBI. Now, the Uddhav Thackeray has withdrawn this case. This means, now CBI will have to seek the permission of the state govt before initiating any investigation in any case.

The move came a day after CBI had registered a case in the TRP scam case, where the Mumbai police is trying to implicate Republic TV and shield India Today. In the high-profile fight between Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh and Republic Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, the police officer had said that Republic was one of the accused in the case of bribing viewers with BARC Bar-o-meters installed to watch the channel, to increase viewership data. But soon Republic TV had accessed the FIR filed in the case, and the complaint based on which the FIR was registered, and both the documents had revealed that it was India Today which was named in them, not Republic TV as accused by the commissioner.

CBI had filed the case in TRP case after the UP government sought a CBI inquiry into the matter since it is a matter that spans across states. This came after the lawyer of Mumbai Police told Bombay High Court that Republic TV was not named in the FIR, contradicting the police version.

CBI is also probing the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, after the Supreme Court of India handed over the caser to CBI on the recommendation of Bihar police. There are demands to hand over other cases, like the Palghar sadhu lynching case, and the Disha Salian death case, to CBI, alleging cover-up by Maharashtra police.

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