Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the main investigation agency of the central government for cases relating to (multidisciplinary cases)
    • Corruption
    • Economic offences
    • Major criminal probes.
  • Superintendence of CBI rests with
    • Central Vigilance Commission  in corruption cases
    • Department of personnel and training (DoPT) in other matters.
Prirne Minister's Office 
Department Of 
Personnel & Training 
Central Vigilence 
Superintendence Of CBI 
rests vvith in corruption 
cases and Department of 
personnel and training 
( OOP T) in other rnatters 
Spec ia I 
  • Takes up investigation of conventional crimes like murder, kidnapping , rape etc on request from state government
  • Supreme Court and High Court can order Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate such a crime anywhere in the country without the consent of the State.
  • CBI also acts as National Central Bureau of Interpol
  • CBI derives powers from the provisions of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE) , 1941 . CBI was set up by a resolution of Ministry of Home Affairs 1963 after Santhanam committee recommendation.
  • Although DSPE Act gives legal power to CBI, 1946 , it is not a statutory body as (written in Laxmikant too)
    • Word ‘CBI’ is not mentioned in DSPE act.
    • Executive order of Ministry of Home Affairs did not mention CBI to be constituted under DSPE Act.

Divisions of CBI

CBI has following divisions

  1. Anti Corruption Division
  2. Economic Offences Division
  3. Special Crimes Division
  4. Policy and International Police Cooperation Division
  5. Administration Division
  6. Directorate of Persecution
  7. Central Forensic Science Laboratory

Issues with CBI

  1. It is not a statutory body and its powers are derived from DSPE Act, 1941
  2. Earlier Supreme Court (Justice Lodha) in Coal Scam Case has termed CBI as a caged parrot with many masters on account of political interference in CBI’s functioning. These masters are
    • a. Ministry of Home Affairs : Controls Cadre Management  . If officer doesn’t work according to wishes of Government, he is transferred . 
    • b. Central Vigilance Commission  : While doing investigation of offences under Prevention of Corruption Act , CBI functions under Central Vigilance Commission
    • c. Department of Personnel and Training  : Training & Finances controlled by it
  3. Plays partisan role : Eg –
    • Clean chit to Jagdish Tytler in the 1984 riots case and various Commissions like Nanavati Commission commented on the partisan role played by CBI in that  
    • Failure to appeal on the Babri Masjid case
  4. CBI does not have its own cadre and is run by officers on deputation 
  5. Overlapping jurisdictions: There is an overlap in jurisdictions of CVC, CBI and Lokpal in certain cases leading to problems.
  6. Lack of Transparency: CBI is exempt from the provisions of the RTI Act of 2005

Fodder : 2019 case of CBI versus CBI infighting between CBI director (Alok Verma) vs his deputy (Rakesh Asthana) questioned the independence of independence of CBI . Timeline of what happened is as follows.

The events leading up to 
micfiight cfvestnwtt 
Of Of CBI Dir«tor 
Alok Kumar Verma and 
Director Rakesh 
and the 
IPS offcer Rakesh Asthana 
appointed Additional Director 
Dec. 3: Asthana made interim 
CBI Director as Director 
Anil Sinha retires 
Jan. 19.2017: Alok 
Verma appointed CBI 
Director tot a tenwe 
of two years 
22: Asthana 
appointed SR. 
cial Chrector 
Nov. 2: Adv«ate Prashant Bhushan 
Supreme Court on behalf Of Cornmon Cause. an 
NGO. challeng•ng Asthana•s appointrnent 
23: Late in the night. DOPT divests Verma 
Of all his Statutory Obbqations. appoints 
M. Nageswara Rao interim CBI Director 
Nov. 28: Court dismisses 
the '*tition 
My 12.2018: While verma 
was the Central 
Vigilarxe Comrmssion 
(CVC) calls a n.eting to 
discuss p. cymtnns. Rks 
to know Who will attend 
it. The CBI that 
Asthana has rx) rnandate 
to revesent 
Oct. CBI 
lodges an FIR with 
aganst Asthana, 
Deputy Superin• 
tendent of Police 
t»vender Kumar, 
investment banker 
Manoj Prasad 
and his brother 
Sorr—h Prasad 
Oct. 16: The CBI arrests 
Mano Prasad 
(Xt. 20. The CBI raids 
tkven&r Kumar's 
residence and omce at 
its headquarters. says 
mobile phores and 
iPads seized 
24: Verma 
the Supreme 
25: Comnu1 
cause files a PIL 
crtition. seekir" a 
Sßcial Investigation 
Team probe into alle- 
gations of corruption 
against CBI othaals. 
irrtudit» Asthana 
Oct. 26: COIrt 
directs CVC to 
inquiry into a 
Verma in two 
weeks. re• 
sponse of the CVC 
the Centre 
on Verrna•s plea 
Nov. 12: The CVC htes a prelirninary 
probe report in a seal«i cover in 
the Supreme Court 
NOV. 29: Verna tells Supreme 
Court that his fixed tenure of two 
years cannot be alter«i 
Dec. •S: between 
two CBI officers 
exposed the probe 
agency to ridicule, ttw 
Centre tells the court 
Jan. 8.2019' cart 
Ovesti" Vemu of his powers .nd hen on 
•ave. restrains him from taking

Steps already taken to improve working of CBI

1 . Supreme Court in Vineet Narain case has suggested reforms for making CBI independent (these provisions were added in Section 4B of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act in accordance with that )

  • Supreme Court ruled that the Director of the CBI should be appointed and transferred on the recommendations of a committee of
    1. Prime Minister
    2. Leader of Opposition
    3. Chief Justice of India
  • Director shall have a minimum tenure of two years, and in extra-ordinary situation,  premature transfer should have the approval of the Selection Committee which appointed it.

2 . CBI has been exempted from consultation with UPSC for recruitment to the post of DSP for a period of 3 years in 2017.

3. Advanced Certified Course for CBI officers to enhance their investigation skills, from National Law School of India University and IIM Bangalore.

4. Various schemes for Modernization of training centers in CBI

More steps required

  • Central Bureau of Investigation should be under Lokpal . Amendments should be made accordingly as originally envisaged in Lokpal Bill.
  • Make a separate law to make CBI a statutory body as suggested by 2nd ARC & Parliamentary Committees , thus giving it more autonomy to function and reducing political interference.
  • CBI should develop its own cadre of officers who are not hindered by deputation issues and abrupt transfers.

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