In a bid to curb the powers of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Maharashtra, the Uddhav Thackerey-led government blocked the central investigation agency from conducting the investigation in the state without its prior permission. The move comes a day after the CBI registered an FIR in connection with the Television Rating Points (TRP) scam on the basis of a complaint filed in Uttar Pradesh.
The rating scam involving three channels is currently being probed by the Mumbai Police. Maharashtra government’s decision comes at a point when speculations were on that the CBI might seek to wade into the probe being conducted by the Mumbai Police. On October 8, Mumbai Police had claimed that three channels were responsible for the manipulation of TRPs. Six people have been arrested by Police in connection to the scam.
Mumbai Police had come under scanner for its handling of the Sushant Singh Rajput case following which the case was handed over to the CBI. An FIR was filed by the late actor’s father in Bihar following which Bihar police started thieir investigation in Maharashtra and claimed that hurdles were being created by the state government in their probe. This resulted in escalated tensions between the Thackeray-led Maharashtra government and NDA-ruled Bihar government. Later, the apex court directed the CBI to take over the matter. The court order will ensure that CBI can continue with the ongoing investigation in the 34-year-old actor’s death case.
This is not the first time a state has blocked the central agency from conducting investigation. The central agency is not allowed to conduct investigation in opposition-ruled West Bengal, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh without the state’s approval. Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Uttarakhand had earlier withdrawn the general consent to CBI to probe cases within their geographical jurisdiction as well. However, they decided to overturn the decision later.