‘CBI needs state’s consent to probe a state case’

Direct ED not to take coercive step against me:Virbhadra to HC
'CBI needs state's consent to probe a state case'
‘CBI needs state’s consent to probe a state case’

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, accused in a disproportionate assets case along with others, today claimed in Delhi High Court that CBI cannot on its own decide to probe offences outside Delhi without the consent of the concerned state.

His counsel told Justice Vipin Sanghi that in the instant matter, the alleged offence was committed in Himachal Pradesh as the disproportionate assets were located there and hence the police of that state should have been probing it.

“CBI cannot investigate matters outside Delhi without the consent of the state concerned. Where disproportionate assets are located, that is where offence is committed,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Singh, said.

Sibal argued that it was not a case of corruption where office of a public servant is relevant. “It is a case of disproportionate assets where location of assets is relevant.”

He said CBI “cannot be used as a instrument of oppression” by going after matters in other states.

He also questioned why an FIR was not lodged in Himachal Pradesh. “Nobody stopped registration of FIR in Himachal Pradesh. What prevented them from lodging FIR there?”

“CBI or the central government cannot arrogate to itself the power that whatever happens in a state, it will investigate. That will destroy the federal structure of government,” Sibal said.

He said if the probe by state police was found to be unsatisfactory, then the court could have been approached to monitor the investigation or to order a CBI probe.

The court listed the matter tomorrow when it will hear arguments on behalf of the state government on whether its consent was required for CBI to probe the case.

( Source – PTI )

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