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Parliamentary Panel Urges New Law To Empower CBI Without State Consent

The panel emphasized the urgent need for a new law to grant broader powers to the federal agency, allowing it to investigate crucial cases without depending on a state's consent and avoiding interference.

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A Parliamentary panel emphasized the urgent need for a new law to grant broader powers to the federal agency, allowing it to investigate crucial cases without depending on a state's consent and avoiding interference.

The panel highlighted the severe limitations faced by the Central Bureau of Investigation due to the withdrawal of 'general consent' by nine states.

The panel acknowledged the importance of safeguards to maintain objectivity and impartiality in CBI's operations, preventing any sense of discrimination by states.

Under the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, the consent of the state government is a prerequisite for CBI investigations. States have historically granted general consent for a specified class of offenses against specified categories of persons.

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The report highlighted that the withdrawal of general consent by nine states has significantly limited CBI's ability to impartially and objectively investigate crucial cases, potentially giving rise to corruption and organized crimes.

The panel reiterated the earlier recommendation for a new law, in addition to amending the DSPE Act, 1946, to define the status and functions of the CBI while providing wider investigative powers. Simultaneously, it stressed the importance of laying down safeguards in the law to ensure fairness in CBI's functioning.

The panel's report comes in the wake of non-NDA governments in some states withdrawing general consent, accusing the Centre of misusing agencies for political purposes. It emphasized that the removal of the 'state's consent clause' should only occur in cases threatening the nation's security and integrity.

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Additionally, the report highlighted recent proposals by the CBI to amend recruitment rules, particularly for inspector positions. The agency suggested a shift to a 60% promotion and 40% deputation/absorption basis for filling inspector posts, a change from the existing 50:50 formula. The proposed amendment is under consideration, with a commitment to reviewing the position if it fails to meet functional requirements.

The panel disclosed that 308 posts, including joint director, deputy inspector general, superintendent of police, etc., were filled by the CBI in the previous year alone.

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