West Bengal's suit on CBI probe despite withdrawal of general consent maintainable: SC

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday held as maintainable a suit filed by the West Bengal government which alleged that the CBI was continuing probes into various cases despite the state's withdrawal of general consent on November 16, 2018.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta said the state's suit shall proceed in accordance with law on its own merits.

It fixed the matter for hearing on August 13 for framing of issues.

The apex court had on May 8 reserved its verdict on the maintainability of the suit filed by the state.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for West Bengal, had argued that once the state had withdrawn its consent on November 16, 2018, the Centre could not allow the probe agency to enter the state for investigation.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, had said that the Union government or its departments do not exercise any supervisory control over Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probes.

The Centre had raised preliminary objections about the maintainability of the lawsuit filed by the West Bengal government, contending that there was no cause of action against the Union of India.

The West Bengal government has filed an original suit in the apex court against the Centre under Article 131 of the Constitution, alleging that the CBI has been filing FIRs and proceeding with investigations despite the state having withdrawn the general consent to the federal agency to probe cases within its territorial jurisdiction.

Article 131 deals with the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction in a dispute between the Centre and one or more states.