Several states in the country have raised questions about the jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and some states, including Maharashtra, had a few days ago made it mandatory for CBI to seek state's permission for carrying out investigation.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court in a judgment on Thursday said that CBI requires the permission of the state government in it's jurisdiction.
A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and B R Gavai said the provisions are in tune with the federal character of the Constitution, which has been held to be one of its basic structures.
The apex court referred to sections 5 and 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, which deal with extension of powers and jurisdiction of special police establishment to other areas and consent of state government to exercise of powers and jurisdiction.
"It could thus be seen, that though Section 5 enables the central government to extend the powers and jurisdiction of members of the DSPE beyond the Union Territories to a State, the same is not permissible unless a State grants its consent for such an extension within the area of State concerned under Section 6 of the DSPE Act," the bench said.
The observation assumes significance as recently the governments of Punjab, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh withdrew their "general consent" to the CBI.