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Undermining CBI

States' withdrawal of consent is worrying

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has always operated on relatively tenuous legal foundations — in particular, in order to investigate in the jurisdiction of a state government, it requires the state government concerned to grant it permission to do so. Recently, the governments of Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have denied the CBI permission to operate in those states, by withdrawing the “general consent” that they had previously accorded to the bureau’s investigations. The West Bengal government had granted the “general consent” almost three ...