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Report No. 48

5. Proposal to confer jurisdiction on the C.B.I. to make investigation in respect of certain offences relating to the Union List.-

There is, it appears, a proposal to confer jurisdiction on the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct investigation in respect of certain offences relating to subjects mentioned in the Union List. This question has two aspects, namely, the constitutional aspect, and the practical aspect. So far as the constitutional aspect is concerned, a view seems to prevail in some quarters that since the subject of 'police' is mentioned in the State List1, it is beyond the competence of Parliament to make a provision for the investigation of offences by the Central Bureau of Investigation,-excepting under special legislative entries-e.g. the special entry relating to extension of the powers and jurisdiction of members of a police force belonging to any State to any area outside the State2.

1. State List, Entry 2.

2. Union List, Entry 80.

6. We do not share this view. The Central Bureau of Intelligence and Investigation are subjects mentioned in the Union List1. The power to investigate offences against laws with respect to any of the matters in the Union List, could be attributed either to the entry relating to such offences2, or to the entry relating to criminal procedure3, or, in the last resort, to the residuary power. It is, in our opinion, not correct to assume that because "police" is a State subject, and because investigation of offences is ordinarily done by the police, it is incompetent for Parliament to confer such power on any other agency.

1. Union List, Entry 8.

2. Union List, Entry 93.

3. Concurrent List, Entry 2.

7. We agree with the proposal in principle. We think it desirable from many points of view, and so we suggest that the investigation and prosecution of offences under the principal Central enactments be included within the scope of the jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation. The various offences to be brought within the proposals have not been specified, and we do not go into those details. We should also, add, that for settling any conflict of jurisdiction between the Central Bureau of Investigation and other investigating agencies that may arise, some suitable machinery should be provided for.

Further, we are anxious that the Central Bureau of Investigation should not be denied jurisdiction under the proposed provision to investigate an offence merely because, on the facts under investigation, commission of another offence is disclosed which falls within the province of a State investigating agency. We may point out that a very substantial increase will be necessary in the strength of investigating officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation, if the above change is to produce the desired results.

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