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Calcutta HC to decide if DSPE Act, CBI formed on valid legislation

Kolkata, April 2 (IANS) The Calcutta High Court has has raised questions on the validity of Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act upon which formation of the Central Bureau of Investigation is based.

A single bench headed by Justice Protik Prakash Banerjee on Monday raised probing questions on the constitutionality of the valid piece of legislation that led to to the enactment of DSPE Act and then consequentially the CBI. The judge has referred the case to a bench of two or more judges to settle the issue.

The order was passed on the submissions of amicus curiae Phiroze Edulji.

Justice Banerjee has framed five questions of law, which would be decided by a larger bench.

The questions largely focus on whether the DSPE, 1946, is a valid piece of legislation, and whther the CBI an organ, or a part of DSPE?

The order took into consideration that the apex court is already seized of a similar case. The case is an appeal against a 2013 judgement of the Guwahati High Court, which struck down a 1963 resolution of the Central government constituting the CBI. The court said that CBI can be constituted only through a statute. It was challenged in the Supreme Court, and later, it was stayed.

Taking note of the stay on the Guwahati High Court judgement, the Calcutta High Court said, “What is the effect of an order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court which stays the operation of a final order of a Division Bench of a High Court which holds that a Central statute is not a valid piece of legislation?”

The Amicus curiae submitted that the case involves substantial questions of law regarding the interpretation of the Constitution of India, and requested the judge to place the matter before a bench of three or more judges. The Court noted his submissions and ordered that the matter be placed before the Chief Justice for the constitution of an appropriate Bench.

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