Amid the political crisis in Rajasthan, the Congress government led by Ashok Gehlot has passed a notification making it impossible for the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct any probe or raid in the state without the approval of the state government.
The notification, dated July 19, covers all Central government employees working in the state. The state government employees are covered under an existing rule which makes it necessary for the CBI to get the consent of the High Court, Supreme Court or the state government before investigating them.
Sunday's notification fixed a 30-year-old loophole pointed out by the Supreme Court in 2006.
In 1990, the state had turned down the Centre's request for a general consent for CBI to conduct investigations against Central government employees in the state.
The Supreme Court had pointed out that the state's refusal was in the form of a letter instead of a notification which does not have any legal footing.
Refusing general consent through a letter does not meet the requirements of Article 166 of the Constitution, which deals with the Conduct of Business of the Government of a State, the top court had said.
A notification now makes the situation water-tight, said sources in the agency.
As the CBI has been set up under Delhi Police Special Establishment Act and law and order is a state subject, the agency needs the consent of various state governments to register and probe corruption cases in their territory.
"This notification is not a mere reiteration of the earlier stand of the Rajasthan government, but fixing a legal loophole," sources in CBI told NDTV.
"Now even if we get source-based information or complaint against any central government employee, the agency has to write to the state government and only if they give permission, we can register a case," an official added.