Congress-ruled Jharkhand on Thursday became the latest state to revoke the general consent extended to the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct investigations in the state, joining the ranks of other opposition-ruled states which have effectively shut their gates to the agency.
The move, which makes it necessary for the central agency to get the state government’s permission to conduct investigations in the state, comes a day after Kerala also withdrew the privilege.
“The Government of Jharkhand hereby withdraws the consent accorded to the members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment,” read the order signed by Anil Kumar Singh, joint secretary to the government without elaborating.
Earlier, several other opposition-ruled states, including Bengal, Chhattisgarh and more recently, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, had withdrawn general consent, alleging that the BJP-led government at the centre was misusing the agency to harass political opponents.
Tripura and Mizoram also have revoked the general consent in the past.
Bengal withdrew general consent in 2018, following the steps of the erstwhile Chandrababu Naidu government in Andhra Pradesh.
Mr Naidu had withdrawn the general consent in November 2018, months after pulling out of the NDA, accusing the centre of undermining the credibility of the agency for its own gains.
Andhra Pradesh, however, overturned the move after the Jaganmohan Reddy government came to power last year.
Opposition state governments in recent months have found themselves at odds with the central government and the CBI which have delved into cases, especially ones that have seen political scrutiny, being probed by local law enforcement.
The Maharashtra government’s move last month came hours after the CBI filed a case to investigate the TV ratings scam on the basis of a complaint filed in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh. Earlier this year, the investigation in the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput was handed over to the central agency as well.