Maharashtra Fisheries and Textiles Minister Aslam Sheikh on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court ruling on the the jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation, saying the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre had turned the central agency into a paan, or betel nut, shop, ANI reported.
“Under the BJP government, the CBI has become like a paan patti ki dukaan [betel nut shop],” the Congress leader told the news agency. “It goes anywhere and books anyone, particularly in non-BJP ruled states. It took action against chief ministers and ministers.”
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the Centre cannot extend the jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation without permission from the states, and that a CBI inquiry cannot begin without consent from the Centre and the state in question.
This is a significant move as eight non-BJP ruled states – Rajasthan, Bengal, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Mizoram – have revoked the general consent given for CBI inquiries, amid allegations that the Centre was using the investigation agency to carry out vendetta against the Opposition.
The top court cited Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act to rule that the investigation agency’s jurisdiction is subject to the state governments’ consent. “Obviously, the provisions are in tune with the federal character of the Constitution, which has been held to be one of the basic structures of the Constitution,” the judgement said.