The Supreme Court held that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) need not seek consent from a state government to examine the role of a public servant from that state in an offence under Section 3 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE Act)
The case includes the incident of offence of IAS officer from Bihar. The appellant before the Supreme Court was accused of siphoning off government funds and corruption. The alleged offence happened during a construction project of Bhartiya Rail Bijli Company Limited (BRBCL) which was supposed to have taken place at Delhi.
First Information Report (FIR) against the appellant was registered by CBI under Sections 120B, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), read with Section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (PC Act)
ASG KM Nataraj with Advocate Anmol Chandan represented the CBI. Senior Advocate Vikas Singh represented the appellant.
The appellant contented in Patna HC while seeking to quash FIR registered against him,
The CBI did not have jurisdiction to exercise its powers under the DSPE Act. Investigation in respect of such cases could be undertaken only after taking prior consent of the state government of Bihar.
The HC rejected and the appellant moved to Supreme Court.
Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari, heard the case in Supreme Court.
Where appellant took the same grounds, and argued that he is accused of committing the said offence in his capacity as a state government employee. In this light, the CBI would require the state’s consent to investigate his role in the alleged offence, as is required under Section 6 of the DSPE Act.
The Supreme Court noted that the offence alleged to have been committed pertains to the BRBCL, which incidentally has its registered office in Delhi. Therefore, the CBI would have jurisdiction to investigate the offence.
The Court further added,
‘…consent of the State under Section 6 cannot come in the way or constrict the jurisdiction of the special police force constituted under Section 2 to investigate specified offences under Section 3 of the 1946 Act committed within the Union Territories.”
The Court also stated that on the stage of taking cognizance, “when the Court of competent jurisdiction proceeds to take cognizance of offence and particularly against the appellant, it may consider the question of necessity of a prior sanction of the State of Bihar qua its official(s) as may be required by law”, upheld the Patna HC judgment and dismissed the appeal.
Read the Judgment here: