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CBI raid on NDTV: After wide spread criticism, CBI issues clarification on when it conducts raids

CBI Headquaters
CBI Headquaters

June,7,2017:

CBI is once again facing accusations of being partisan in favour of party ruling in Centre.

Central Bureau of Investigation has often been accused of working at the behest of Central Government.

Even Supreme Court, in the year 2013, had called the investigating agency as the ‘caged parrot’ and ‘its master’s voice.’

In the back drop of raids against NDTV Promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, CBI is once again facing accusations of being partisan.

CBI, in its response has issued a press release on June 6, 2017 stating that the how investigation carried by the CBI in the NDTV raid was legal and in terms with Supreme Court ruling over the private bank investigations.

NDTV promoters have been alleged of “wrongful gain of Rs 48 crore to promoters Dr. Prannoy Roy, Smt Radhika Roy, M/s RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd and a corresponding the wrongful loss to ICICI bank,” under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Raid on NDTV promoters and the alleged “wrongful” investigation

Section 6A,Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act covers the investigations to be carried out by CBI if an offence is alleged to have been committed under Prevention of the Corruption Act, 1988 with a prior approval of Central Government.

In the pressing matter, CBI has been accused of not having jurisdiction in the cases involving the private bank loans, which CBI by stating that, “Honourable Supreme Court in case of Ramesh Gelli v. CBI of 2016, held that provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 are applicable to officials of the private banks. Therefore, the CBI has jurisdiction to take up the investigation of cases of the private banks.”

What is Ramesh Gelli vs CBI [WP(CRL.) NO. 167/ 2015] case?

In this case, Supreme Court held that the Sec 2(c)(viii) ,Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and the Sec 21 ,Indian Penal Code, 1860 defining the “public servant” should be read with the Section 46-A ,Banking Regulation Act, which holds field for purposes of the offences under said Act.

The question in hand was to determine whether the chairman/managing director or executive director of a private bank operating under licence issued by RBI under Banking Regulation Act, 1949, held/holds an office and performed /performs public duty so as to attract the definition of ‘public servant’.

What is the jurisdiction of a CBI investigation?

Offences related to Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 falls under supervision of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and in other matters with Department of the Personnel and Training (DOPT) in Ministry of Personnel, Pension and Grievances of Government of India.

CBI investigates cases which are essentially against the Central Government employees, financial interests of Central Government, breach of the Central Laws, fraud, cheating embezzlement relating to the companies involving the large funds, similar offences committed by the organised gangs or the criminals affecting the several states.

It looks into the cases having interstate and international ramifications and involving the several official agencies where, from all the angles, it is considered necessary that a single investigating agency should be in charge of investigation.

Are CBI arrests different from police arrests?

CBI arrests, with or without the warrant, and its procedure is derived from Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 1973, which applies to the every police officer making an arrest where an approval from Magistrate is required if an arrest is made with a warrant.

Provisions of an arrest without a warrant are embed in Section 41 of the CrPc which is also applicable to the CBI officials.

After making an arrest, CBI follows a prescribed investigative procedure governed by Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (DSPE).

Stating investigative powers to CBI (Section 6A, DSPE Act), DSPE also defines jurisdiction (Section 5) under which institution lies.

With inputs from Indian Express

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