WILL THE MUMBAI POLICE HAVE TO DROP THEIR INVESTIGATION NOW?
At this point, there is no need for the Mumbai Police to close their investigation. Just because the CBI has begun its own probe does not mean that a state police force has to abandon their own.
The CBI does not have the power to unilaterally take away a case from a state police force – that is in fact why the UP government had to make a reference to transfer the Lucknow case to them. Under the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, which governs how the CBI operates, the CBI can in fact only conduct an investigation in another state with that state’s permission.
However, what could throw a spanner in the works is an order of the Bombay High Court or the Supreme Court of India. The high courts and the apex court have the power to order a CBI investigation into a matter regardless of state government consent, and can also direct the closure of the investigation by the state police force.
With regard to this whole TRP controversy, Republic has already made a plea for the investigation to be transferred to the CBI – first in the Supreme Court, and then in the Bombay High Court after the SC told him to first go there. That the CBI has begun its probe so soon after Republic made this request is one of the reasons its move has been viewed with suspicion.
During a hearing in the matter on Monday, 19 October, the issue of transferring the case to the CBI was not taken up by the court, which was instead looking at the issue of summons being issued to Republic staff. However, now that the CBI has begun its own probe, it is likely that this will be made an issue at the next hearing on 5 November – prior to which the Mumbai Police have to submit some details of their investigation to the court in a sealed cover.