The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday rejected the Uttarakhand government's notification withdrawing permission for it to probe a sting operation against Chief Minister Harish Rawat and decided to continue with its inquiry for which permission was given during President's rule.
The fresh notification of the Uttrakhand government for "withdrawal of consent" to the CBI for probing the case was examined by legal experts, official sources said.
The notification is not legally tenable and hence the CBI will continue with its Preliminary Enquiry in the case, the sources said citing the legal opinion.
The CBI had registered a PE on April 29 to probe a video-graphed "sting operation" purportedly showing Rawat offering bribes to rebel Congress lawmakers to support him during a floor test in the Uttarakhand assembly.
The agency had summoned Rawat for examination for May 9 but he had sought more time after which he won the floor test and returned to power.
Rawat has denied the allegation and called the video fake after it was released by the rebel Congress legislators but later admitted that he was on camera in the sting operation.
After Rawat's victory, the state cabinet met on May 15 and withdrew the notification recommending a CBI probe into a sting operation involving him.
Instead, the state cabinet decided to constitute a special investigating team to probe the case as it was a state subject.
Since law and order is a state subject, the CBI can probe cases of crime in a state only on the recommendation of the government concerned or under instructions from court, the cabinet had said in its order.