On Thursday, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel banned the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe cases in the state. Thus, Chhattisgarh becomes the third state to revoke permission to the country’s premier investigating agency. Prior to this, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh are the other two states to have done this. State government’s decision to ban CBI raises a number of questions on the government.
In a letter addressed to the Union home secretary and secretary of the Department of Personnel, the state government stated, “The Government of Chhattisgarh, hereby withdraws its consent accorded vide letter under reference for the purpose of section 6 of DSPE Act 1946. It is therefore requested to kindly denotify the MHA notification SO. No 937 dated 25.04.2001. It is further requested that the CBI be instructed not to exercise jurisdiction for investigation of any fresh matter on the strength of above referred MHA notification SO. No 937 dated 25.04, 2001”.
Afterwards, CM Baghel, while addressing the media said, “In a federal system, there is a provision that if CBI comes for investigation in a state, then state may or may not grant permission. However, if there is an order by High Court or Supreme Court that mandates it, then state government is bound to allow it”.
पिछले कुछ महीनों में केंद्र की एनडीए सरकार ने सीबीआई की विश्वसनीयता को संकट में डाल दिया है। इसलिए अब यह ठीक नहीं लगता कि सीबीआई को हम अपने राज्य में मनमर्ज़ी की कार्रवाई करने की छूट दें। https://t.co/eCWgc4TDCl
— Bhupesh Baghel (@bhupeshbaghel) January 11, 2019
Bhupesh Baghel government may claim that the premier investigating agency is not trustworthy; but interestingly, the CM himself had been under the radar of the CBI in an alleged sex CD case. Baghel got the attention of the national media when his close relative and senior journalist Vinod Verma was arrested by the Chhattisgarh Police in an alleged sex CD case in connection with the state Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Rajesh Munat. Vinod Verma was arrested from his residence in Ghaziabad over blackmailing and extortion. CBI, after an investigation of more than a year, filed a charge sheet in the court of special CBI judge Sumit Kapoor, who remanded the then state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel to 14 days of judicial custody.
This is not the only case in which Baghel finds himself under CBI’s radar. In another instance, the State Economic Offenses Investigation Bureau registered a case against Bhupesh Baghel under the Prevention of Corruption Act and speculations were rife that the CBI may probe the case as well. In the corruption case, CM’s wife Mukteshwari and mother Bindeshwari were also accused. Baghel is accused of having misused his position while being a member of SADA (Special Area Development Authority) and also in the Mansarovar scheme of Bhilai-3. He is accused of incorrectly allotting 6 plots each to his wife and mother. In 2014, the nephew of Baghel and BJP leader Vijay Baghel gave the complaint to EOW (Economic Offences Wing). It was pending in EOW for nearly 3 years. SP Arvind Kuzur told that a case has been registered against Baghel and his family of under sections 420, 120 B and corruption Act of the IPC.
Bhupesh Baghel was sent to jail for 15 days by CBI court in sex CD scandal
Today, he's CM of Chhattisgarh so he has now banned CBI
After Andhra Pradesh & Bengal, Chhattisgarh becomes 3rd state to ban CBI entry
Don't worry now there's no Emergency & Democracy is running greatly
— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) January 11, 2019
Besides these two, 9 more cases have been filed against the Chhattisgarh’s CM. These cases are related to voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty (IPC Section-332), using forged document or electronic record (IPC Section-471), and armed with deadly weapon (IPC Section-148).
Given the rather ‘illustrious’ career of the Chief Minister, this step to ban the CBI doesn’t come as a surprise. It is truly said that “Guilty conscience pricks the mind”.
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