In a curious judgement, the Guwahati high court has struck down the resolution through which the Central Bureau of Investigation was set up and held all its actions as “unconstitutional”. The judgement by the division bench, comprising justices I A Ansari and Indira Shah, came on a writ petition filed by one Navendra Kumar challenging an order by a single judge of the high court in 2007 on the resolution through which CBI was set up.
“We hereby…set aside and quash the impugned Resolution, dated April 1, 1963, whereby CBI has been constituted… We do hold that the CBI is neither an organ nor a part of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) and the CBI cannot be treated as a ‘police force’ constituted under the DSPE Act, 1946,” the court said. It further said the aforementioned home ministry resolution was “not the decision of the Union Cabinet nor were these executive instructions assented to by the President”. “Therefore, the impugned Resolution…can, at best, be regarded as departmental instructions, which cannot be termed as ‘law’,” the judgement said.
The court then set aside and quashed the charge sheet, submitted by CBI, against Kumar, along with the trial. Further, the court said, “The actions of the CBI, in registering a case, arresting a person as an offender, conducting search and seizure, prosecuting an accused etc. offend Article 21 of the Constitution and are, therefore, liable to be struck down as unconstitutional.”
The court, however, said quashing of the proceedings that are pending in the CBI court would not be a bar to any further investigation by police having jurisdiction over the subject-matter.
Article taken from The Times of India here
This judgement has created a lot of sensation and online forums are abuzz with the possible implications of this. It will be interesting to see how the CBI tackles this situation and if there will be any changes in its functioning. The question to ask right now is, will the judgement be challenged?