Gauhati High Court order on CBI will affect many cases in Maharashtra
The Gauhati High Court order which said that the setting up of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was unconstitutional will have far-reaching consequences in Maharashtra where the country’s premiere agency is probing high-profile cases like the Adarsh housing scam, RTI activist Satish Shetty’s murder and the killing of Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar.
Former CBI directors said the order was a bolt from the blue.
Legal experts have expressed hope that the Union government will soon approach the Supreme Court and acquire a stay on the order which would have ramifications not only on pending CBI cases but also on cases in which final judgments have been passed.
Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said the order was shocking. “The Union government will have to challenge the order otherwise it will affect the pending cases, which are being probed by the CBI. Even the earlier cases which were probed by the CBI and final judgments have been passed will come under the scrutiny. This will be disastrous,” he said.
Voicing similar apprehension, a counsel representing the CBI, said, “The Supreme Court should grant a stay when the Union government files the appeal, otherwise many cases will be affected.”
Noted criminal lawyer Majeed Memon said, “The fallout of the ultimate finding by the Gauhati HC, if becomes a law, will be extremely vital and perhaps disastrous.”
However, the 89-page judgment is well researched and delivered after ensuring that no other high court of any state or the Supreme Court has dealt with the issue.
“The SC is expected to take up the matter once the government seeks reconsideration, but it seems difficult to overturn the entire decision, which prima facie appears to be based on good home work and commendable research,” added Memon.
The Union government is expected to approach the SC only on November 11.
Former CBI director RK Raghavan said that the order was a bolt from the blue.
“The government will now have to issue an ordinance. The CBI deserves to exist on the basis of the statute. Several directors, including myself, have given a draft to the government for a distinct CBI Act. The CBI Act is the only answer in my opinion,” Raghavan said.