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CBI does not require permission to probe pre-2014 cases too: SC

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: TH

 Context: The Supreme Court of India has ruled that a 2014 judgment declaring a legal provision requiring prior permission for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate corruption cases against senior government officials is retrospective.

  • This means that the provision, Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, has been considered void from the day of its insertion on September 11, 2003.
    • CBI powers are derived from the DSPE Act
  • The Court stated that Section 6A violated fundamental rights and that once a law is declared unconstitutional, it is void from its inception.

Consequently, senior government officials involved in corruption cases before the 2014 judgment can no longer seek protection through prior approval for investigations.

 Note: Article 20(1) has no bearing in the context of the declaration of Section 6A as unconstitutional as Article 20 (1) doesn’t bar retrospective application of procedural changes in criminal trial.