In a startling development, the Chandrababu Naidu-led Andhra Pradesh government has essentially blocked the CBI's entry into the state without obtaining its prior permission.
The Andhra Pradesh government has withdrawn the 'General consent' given to the members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise its powers and jurisdiction in the state. In effect, in the absence of this permission, the CBI -- which has a nationwide mandate -- cannot interfere in any case that takes place within the limits of the state.
Republic TV has accessed the notification by the Andhra Pradesh government withdrawing the general consent:
It reads: In exercise of the powers conferred by section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (Central Act No 25 of 1946) Government hereby withdraws the general consent accorded to all members of Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise the powers and jurisdiction under the said act in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
A copy of the notification has also been addressed to the Director of the CBI -- India's premier investigative agency.
As per CBI sources, the notification hasn't yet reached the CBI, though they added that they will seek legal opinion if the need arises.
Speaking to Republic TV, TDP party spokesperson Dinakar Lanka sensationally claimed that the CBI had been blocked from Andhra Pradesh by Naidu because it was being used by the Modi government against its opponents:
"CBI is used by a tool by the government in order to keep institutions in its hands. After examining the events in CBI, CM Chandrababu Naidu took this decision. This decision has been taken because of the unilateral decision by the Modi government to use the CBI against opponents", Lanka said.
Remarking on the matter, Naidu's principal opposition in Andhra Pradesh, the YSRCP, said, "Mr Naidu is really scared and insecure. He only wants to survive these 6 months. He doesn't know what to do"
News of the notification comes just hours before the Supreme Court is to hear exiled CBI Director Alok Verma's plea seeking reinstatement to his position following the CVC submitting its probe report regarding corruption allegations against him in the apex court.