SC refuses to pass order on urgent listing of WB govt’s suit against CBI probe

Sibal told the apex court that the matter is listed before a bench headed by Justice B R Gavai.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to pass an order on an urgent listing of a lawsuit filed by the West Bengal government that has accused the CBI of going ahead with its probe in post-poll violence cases, without securing the prerequisite nod from the state under the law.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing in the matter on behalf of the West Bengal government, told a bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra that the matter has been adjourned nine times.

Sibal told the apex court that the matter is listed before a bench headed by Justice B R Gavai.

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“The matter is coming up, but we are before the Constitution bench. If it can be heard on Wednesday or Thursday,” Sibal said.

Refusing to pass any order, the CJI said, “I am not in charge of the matter. You go before that bench, they will take a call. We are not passing any orders.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said there is no urgency and the matter can wait for a few days.

Sibal said, “It cannot. The suit was filed in 2021 and we are in 2024.”

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alleging that the CBI has been filing FIRs and proceeding with its investigation, despite the state having withdrawn the general consent to the federal agency to probe cases within its territorial jurisdiction.

Article 131 empowers a state to move the Supreme Court directly in case of a dispute with the Centre or any other state.

On November 16, 2018, the West Bengal government withdrew the “general consent” accorded to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct probe and raids in the state.

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