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Mamata gets gift: CBI probe into train crash

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Last Updated: June 02, 2010, 18:08 IST

Mamata gets gift: CBI probe into train crash

UPA government accepts Railway Minister's demand on the day she wins civic polls. 'The truth should come out,' Railway Minister tells CNN-IBN.

New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday ordered a CBI probe into the derailment of the Gyaneswari Express train last week, accepting a demand made by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Sources told CNN-IBN that the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) will probe the train crash, which has been blamed on Naxal sabotage, along with the West Bengal police's Criminal Investigation Department and Railway Police.

The Union Home Ministry has informed the West Bengal government's Chief Secretary about its decision to order a CBI probe.

Banerjee, whose Trinamool Congress won the municipal elections in the state on Wednesday, has welcomed the CBI probe. "I have good relations with the Home Minister (P Chidambaram). The truth should come out," she said.

Banerjee first refused to blame the Naxals and alleged a "political conspiracy" behind the Gyaneshwari Express train crash near Jhargram town on Friday, but later said she didn't know who caused the mishap.

Initial objections of the West Bengal government notwithstanding, the Union government decided to order the CBI probe as the incident had taken place on railway property and in such cases the concurrence of the state government was not required.

"We have decided to hand over the case to the CBI under Section 5 of Delhi Police Special Establishment Act, under which the CBI functions," an official said.

During the investigation, the CBI will be helped by the Central security agencies, Railway Protection Force and West Bengal government.

"Today the West Bengal government has conveyed to us that they will cooperate in the investigation," the official said.

However, the CPM leadership reacted to the move cautiously. Senior leader of the Communist Party of India-Marxist Sitaram Yechury said, "the decision could have been taken with the state government in confidence."

When and how the Centre can order a CBI probe

Can the CBI suo-moto take up investigation of any crime anywhere in the country?

No. As per section 2 of the DSPE Act, the CBI can suo-moto take up investigation of offences notified in section 3 only in the Union Territories. Taking up investigation by the CBI in the boundaries of a State requires prior consent of that State as per Section 6 of the DSPE Act. The Central Government can authorise the CBI to investigate such a crime in a State but only with the consent of the concerned State Government. The Supreme Court and High Courts, however, can order the CBI to investigate such a crime anywhere in the country without the consent of the State.

Can the CBI take over the investigation of a criminal case registered by the state police?

Yes, it can, in the following situations:

(i) The concerned State Government makes a request to that effect and the Central Government agrees to it (Central Government generally seeks comment of CBI before deciding upon the request of the State)

(ii) The State Government issues notification of consent under section 6 of the DSPE Act and the Central Government issues notification under section 5 of the DSPE Act

(iii) The Supreme Court or High Courts orders CBI to take up such investigations.

(With inputs from Agencies)
first published:June 02, 2010, 18:08 IST
last updated:June 02, 2010, 18:08 IST