Why Guwahati HC calls CBI 'unconstitutional, takes its powers away

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Guwahati, Nov 8: In a major setback for Congress-led UPA government, Guwahati High Court called the investigative agency CBI "Unconstitutional". Taking away most of its powers, the court asserted that CBI is not liable to file any charge-sheet in any criminal case. The agency also cannot arrest any suspect(s), told the court.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is believed as the most powerful investigative agency of the central government, has not been set up following the Constitution of India, said the court.

Passing an order against a petition, which had challenged a charge-sheet filed by the CBI, the high court said, the CBI cannot be treated as a police force, it can only inquire."

CBI cannot be treated as a police force, said Guwahati High Court

The court also dismissed a home ministry order under which the CBI was set up in 1963. The Guwahati Hig Court on Wednesday, Nov 6 said that the 50-year-old resolution was not produced before the President and never received his assent, as is the norm for legislation. Hence, CBI cannot be called a "constitutional investigative agency".

The CBI was set up as a 'police force' under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act of 1946. In an 89-page judgement, the court said the CBI is neither an organ, nor a part of the Delhi Special Police Establishment.

Passing its judgement over the petition, the high court rejected CBI's charge-sheet and ordered state police to conduct a fresh investigation into the case.

UPA government and Congress leaders expressed their disappointment with the high court. According to sources, the Centre is likely to move the Supreme Court challenging the order passed by Guwahati high court.

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