SC: CBI Can Directly Register Case, Not Mandatory To Conduct Preliminary Probe

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the CBI can directly register a case upon receiving credible information, which discloses cognizable offence and it is not mandatory, for the investigating agency, to conduct a preliminary probe (PE) before registering the case.

A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud noted that since the institution of PE is not mandatory under CrPC, therefore for the top court to issue a direction will be stepping on the legislative domain.

Justice Chandrachud said if the CBI decides not to conduct a preliminary inquiry, then the accused cannot demand it as a matter of right. While delivering a judgment, the bench said the high court donned the role of a chartered accountant to absolve the accused of his crime.

The top court emphasized that the CBI can register cases directly upon receiving credible information and further added that there cannot be a judicial directive to conduct a preliminary enquiry in every case of corruption. The bench, however, added that it will be open to CBI to carry out PE in appropriate cases.

The bench noted that it was argued whether the CBI could even register a case since the Telangana government had withdrawn general consent to CBI. However, the bench refrained from delving into this aspect, and kept the question open. The detailed judgment in the matter will be uploaded later in the day.