Power to ‘Investigate Railway Areas’ to remain unaffected despite State’s withdrawal of Consent: CBI informs SC

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) challenged the order of the Calcutta High Court by filing a Counter-Affidavit against that of the West Bengal Government. It allowed CBI the freedom to investigate a case pertaining to illegal mining and transportation of coal through Railways in West Bengal, without the State’s consent.

The affidavit primarily states that the SLP is not merited. They argue that it is therefore liable to be dismissed. They further went on to argue the importance that the ‘Ram Kishan Fauji v. State of Haryana’ case has been given, and have said that facts and circumstances don’t compare squarely to this case.

“….it was held in view of the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, that no appeal under the Letters Patent Appeal shall lie to the Division Bench of the High Court from the order passed by the Single-Judge of the High Court exercising original criminal jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution…”

Additionally, Calcutta High Court is governed procedurally by separate rules for petitions under Article 226 which do not distinguish amongst Civil and Criminal Writs.

“It is submitted that as per the said Rules, there exists no distinction in the petitions filed under Article 226 [whether on the civil side or the criminal side] and the rules mandate that all petitions be registered and allocated the roster under the head of “Original Side.”

Secondly, the Affidavit submits that a conjoint reading of Sections 5 and 6 of the DSPE Act provides that no permission of the State Government is required for the registration of case carrying out an investigation in the Railway Area.

The Affidavit concludes on the note that being the foremost investigating police agency in India, CBI stands apart from the rest of the investigating agencies across the Country. Therefore, to ensure optimum transparency and efficiency, the CBI should be allowed to investigate in such matters.

(Source: Live Law/ Edited by: Raghav Gautam)