The SC verdict cited by CBI while justifying the NDTV raid

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On Tuesday, the Central Bureau of Investigation issued a statement in which it said that the raid carried out by it in the NDTV case was legal. It cited the Supreme Court's ruling in which its jurisdiction over private banks was stated.

Dr. Prannoy Roy

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

In the current case, many have raised objection to the raid stating that the CBI does not have jurisdiction over private banks. Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act states that CBI can carry out investigations under the Prevention of Corruption Act with prior approval from the Central Government.

The Ramesh Gelli case of 2016:

The Supreme Court in the case of Ramesh Gelli vs CBI of 2016, held that the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 are applicable to the officials of private banks. Therefore, CBI has jurisdiction to take up investigation of the cases of private banks."

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

CBI jurisdiction:

The CBI has the authority to conduct investigation under the Prevention of Corruption Act. CBI investigates cases which are against Central Government employees, financial interests of the Central government, breach of Central Laws, fraud, cheating embezzlement relating to companies involving large funds, similar offences committed by organised gangs or criminals affecting several states.

It also looks into cases having interstate and international ramifications and involving several official agencies.

CBI arrests, with or without warrant, and its procedure is derived from the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 1973, which applies to every police officer making an arrest where an approval from the Magistrate is required if an arrest is made with a warrant. Provisions of an arrest without a warrant are embed in Section 41 of CrPc which is also applicable to the CBI officials.

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