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Gehlot govt withdraws 'general consent' for CBI probe in Rajasthan

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
July 20, 2020 23:34 IST
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The Ashok Gehlot government has withdrawn its 'general consent' to the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct raids and investigations in Rajasthan, and the agency will now need its prior permission, a development which comes amid the political crisis in the state.

 

The state government issued a notification requiring the CBI to take prior consent of the state government for investigation of an offence under Section 3 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946.

According to the officials, the 'general consent' of the state government will no longer be valid in the offences under this law. Consent will have to be taken on a case-by-case basis.

Additional Chief Secretary Home Rohit Kumar Singh said, "Its administrative provisions were already there, it was notified yesterday."

Officials said that in June 1990 too the then Rajasthan government had refused to give such 'general consent' to the Centre.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has questioned the Rajasthan government's move, saying there is 'indirect emergency' in the state.

"The way the state government misused the SOG and the ACB and it was afraid of CBI action... There is something fishy," BJP state president Satish Poonia told reporters. 

ACB asks two rebel Cong MLAs to appear before it in 3 days

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan Anti-Corruption Bureau on Monday issued notices to dissident Congress MLAs Bhanwarlal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh, asking them to appear before it within three days for investigation into an alleged plot to topple the state government.

The ACB had registered a first information report against Bhanwarlal under the Prevention of Corruption Act on July 17 in connection with the audio tapes, which allegedly indicate a plot to bring down the Congress government in the state.

Vishvendra Singh, who was earlier removed from the state Cabinet, has too been summoned for investigation with regard to the audio tapes.

"We have issued them notices today, asking them to appear within three days," an ACB official said.

The FIR was registered on the complaint of state government chief whip Mahesh Joshi, who had produced three audio tapes.

In two of the tapes, MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma is allegedly heard talking to one Sanjay Jain and Gajendra Singh regarding the 'conspiracy' and 'amount'.

Citing the audio clips on social media, the Congress had demanded the resignation of Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from the Union Cabinet, saying he has no moral authority to continue when he is heard on audio clips that suggest a BJP conspiracy to topple the government in Rajasthan.

However, the FIR does not identify 'Gajendra Singh' referred to the clip as Union minister Shekhawat, a senior BJP leader from Rajasthan.

The third audio tape is allegedly having a conservation between two people but no name appears on it.

However, ACB sources said one voice resembles to that of Vishvendra Singh, therefore a notice was issued to him as well.

The Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Rajasthan Police has also registered two FIRs in connection with the audio tapes and has arrested Sanjay Jain, referred to as a BJP leader by the Congress, a charge denied by the saffron party.

The SOG has also issued a notice to Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in this regard and trying to locate Congress MLA Bhanwarlal for investigation into the case.

The Congress Party had earlier suspended the primary membership of Vishvendra Singh and Bhanwarlal Sharma after the audio tapes surfaced.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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