The Andhra Pradesh government has withdrawn the general consent given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate any case in the state. The CBI will have to seek permission from the Andhra government before entering the state for official purposes.
Sources in the government cited lack of confidence in the CBI due to the ongoing controversy and the case going on in the Supreme Court for withdrawing the consent. However, the state government’s move is being seen as escalating the confrontation with the Centre as Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu tries to rally together the non-BJP parties to form an alliance.
The GO (government order) number 176 issued by the Home Department by Principal Secretary A R Anuradha on November 8 states: “In exercise of power conferred by Section 5 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (Central Act No 25 of 1946), the government hereby withdraws the general consent accorded in GO No 109 Home (SC.A) Department dated August 3, 2018 to all members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise the powers and jurisdiction under the said Act in the State of Andhra Pradesh.’’
The CBI was established under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act. On August 3, 2018, the Andhra government, like any other state, had renewed the general consent given to the CBI. As a result of the GO revoking the consent, CBI won’t be able to carry out searches or raids or investigation in the state without taking consent from the state government. “The CBI cannot start an investigation or interfere in any case in the state till the general consent letter stands withdrawn,’’ an official said.
The move comes after Chandrababu Naidu accused the Centre of trying to destabilise his government by using central agencies. He accused the BJP of colluding with Opposition leader Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy in the state to topple his government by using CBI and Income-Tax Department.
Officials said the state government can exercise their right to withdraw consent. At present, there are no major CBI cases going on in Andhra Pradesh. The case of meat exporter Moin Qureshi and businessman Sana Sathish Babu are registered in New Delhi.
A Home Department official said that while Section 5 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act 1946 gives powers to the CBI over all areas in the country, Section 6 states that without the consent of the particular state government, the central agency cannot enter that state’s jurisdiction.