Laxmikanth: Summary of Central Bureau of Investigation Notes | EduRev

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CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (CBI)

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was set up in 1963 by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Later, it was transferred to the Ministry of Personnel and now it enjoys the status of an attached office.
  • The Special Police Establishment (which looked into vigilance cases) setup in 1941 was also merged with the CBI. The establishment of the CBI was recommended by the SanthanamCommittee on Prevention of Corruption (1962-1964). The CBI is not a statutory body. It derives its powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the premier investigating police agency in India.
  • It functions under the superintendence of the Deptt. of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances, Government of India - which falls under the prime minister’s office.
  • However for investigations of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, its superintendence vests with the Central Vigilance Commission.
  • Its conviction rate is as high as 65 to 70% and it is comparable to the best investigation agencies in the world.

Cases Handled by the CBI
(i) Anti-Corruption Crimes
(ii) Economic Crimes
(iii) Special Crimes - for investigation of serious and organized crime under the Indian Penal Code and other laws on the requests of State Governments or on the orders of the Supreme Court and High Courts - such as cases of terrorism, bomb blasts, kidnapping for ransom and crimes committed by the mafia/the underworld.
(iv) Suo Moto Cases - CBI can suo-moto take up investigation of offences only in the Union Territories.

  • The Central Government can authorize CBI to investigate a crime in a State but only with the consent of the concerned State Government.
  • The Supreme Court and High Courts, however, can order CBI to investigate a crime anywhere in the country without the consent of the State.

Director of CBI
(i) Director, CBI as Inspector General of Police, Delhi Special Police Establishment, is responsible for the administration of the organisation.
(ii) Till 2014, the CBI Director was appointed on the basis of the DSPE Act, 1946.
(iii) In 2014, the Lokpal Act provided a committee for appointment of CBI Director:

  • Headed by Prime Minister
  • Other members - Leader of Opposition/ Leader of the single largest opposition party, Chief Justice of India/ a Supreme Court Judge.
  • Home Ministry sends a list of eligible candidates to DoPT. Then, the DoPT prepares the final list on basis of seniority, integrity, and experience in the investigation of anti-corruption cases, and sends it to the committee.

Challenges
(i) The Supreme Court of India has criticised the CBI by calling it a "caged parrot speaking in its master’s voice", due to excessive political interference in its functioning.
(ii) It has often been used by the government of the day to cover up wrongdoing, keep coalition allies in line and political opponents at bay.
(iii) It has been accused of enormous delays in concluding investigations - For example, the inertia in its probe against the high dignitaries in Jain hawala diaries case [of the 1990s].
(iv) Loss of Credibility
(v) Lack of Accountability
(vi) Acute shortage of personnel: A major cause of the shortfall is the government's sheer mismanagement of CBI's workforce.

(vii) Limited Powers: The powers and jurisdiction of members of the CBI for investigation are subject to the consent of the State Govt.

USA and FBI
In the United States of America (USA), the federal States have their own Constitution and yet they have subjected themselves to the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which is a Central agency. Like India, police and public order is a State subject in the USA too and that in all cases involving a federal offence in the USA, the FBI and the local police have concurrent jurisdictions; but the moment the FBI steps in, the local police stops investigation.

Suggestions
(i) Providing statutory status through legislation equivalent to that provided to the Comptroller & Auditor General and the Election Commission wil help maintain the independence of the institution.

(ii) Twenty fourth report of Department related parliamentary standing committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice on working of CBI recommended the following:

  • Strengthening human resources by increasing strength of CBI;
  • Better investments in infrastructural facilities;
  • Increased financial resource and administrative empowerment with accountability;
  • Give more Powers (related to Union, State and Concurrent list of the 7th schedule of Indian constitution), to the CBI;
  • Separate enactment under - "Central Bureau of Intelligence and Investigation Act" and replace DSPE Act.
  • The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (2007) also suggested that “a new law should be enacted to govern the working of the CBI”
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