The Supreme Court has ruled that the suit filed by the State of West Bengal against the Union of India, alleging the misuse of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), is maintainable.

The Bench of Justice BR Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta rejected the preliminary submissions of the Union of India.

"We have held that only the averments in the plaint can be looked at. Therefore, reading the averments in the complaint (of the State of West Bengal) discloses the cause of action," the Court said.

On the aspect of suppression of facts, the Bench said, "We have rejected the contention of the Union in that regard also."

The Bench further stated that they have considered the scheme of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, and the Supreme Court Rules, 2015.

On the submissions made by the Plaintiff, the Bench said, ".. it cannot be said that the plaintiff has not made out any cause of action against the defendant."

In light of the DSPE Act and the judgments of the Apex Court, the Court said, "We find that the present suit, is raising the legal issue as to whether after the withdrawal of the consent under Section 6 of the DSPE Act, the CBI via the defendant, Union of India can continue to register FIRs and investigate cases in its area in violation of the Section 6 of the Act, the same has been ought to have been attacked by the Union of India...."

Consequently, the Court held, "In our considered opinion, the Suit shall proceed in accordance with the law, on its own merits." Accordingly, the Court scheduled the matter for framing of issues on August 13.

Pertinently, on May 9, the Court had reserved its verdict on the maintainability of the suit. The case stems from the West Bengal government's challenge to CBI raids related to post-poll violence in 2021, conducted despite the State's withdrawal of general consent for CBI operations.

During the proceedings, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for the State of West Bengal, and Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta appeared for the Union of India.

It is the plaintiff's case that continuation of the registration of the cases and powers after withdrawal of consent is an act of constitutional overreach. It had also been argued that the CBI is established by the Union, and its exercise and functioning are also controlled by it.

Cause Title: The State of West Bengal v. Union of India [ORGNL.SUIT No. 4/2021]

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