Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)


Recently, the Central Government has appointed ‘Subodh Kumar Jaiswal’ as a new Director of the.

The Director of the CBI is appointed as per section 4A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act of 1946.

About CBI

  • CBI comes under the administrative control of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
  • CBI was created by Executive order in 1941 as Special Police Establishment to deal with corruption involving war-time purchases and supplies.
  • Delhi Police Establishment Act, 1946 – which gives CBI power to investigate
  • CBI is subject of Union List in 7th Schedule
  • CBI is exempted from RTI
  • CBI’s conviction rate is as high as 65 to 70% and it is comparable to the best investigation agencies in the world.
  • CBI is also the nodal police agency in India which coordinates investigation on behalf of Interpol Member countries.


Appointment of Director

  • Director has tenure of 2 yrs
  • For selection of director list prepared by Home Ministry
  • Selection Committee includes (set by Lokpal & Lokayuktas Act)
  1. Prime Minster
  2. Chief Justice of India (or nominated by CJI)
  3. Leader Of oppositon
  4. The government appoints other subordinate officers in the CBI on deputation, in consultation with the CVC

Functions of CBI

  • Combating corruption in public life, curb economic and violent crimes through meticulous investigation and prosecution. (For investigations of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, its superintendence vests with the Central Vigilance Commission.)
  • Help fight cyber and high technology crime.
  • Support state police organizations and law enforcement agencies in national and international cooperation particularly relating to enquiries and investigation of cases.
  • Play a lead role in the war against national and transnational organized crime.
  • Uphold Human Rights, protect the environment, arts, antiques and heritage of our civilization.

Issues with CBI

  • Investigate only those offences notified by the central govt. [Section 3 of DSPE Act]
  • Requires consent of the state govt. Denied by AP, WB, MH etc
  • Supreme Court : “Caged Parrot” – Increasingly seen as losing professionalism & neutrality
  • Lack of Independence, Autonomy
  • No Constitutional Backing
  • Political Interference – increasing tendency to misuse by ruling parties
  • deeply divided house
  • Investigative adventurism
  • Core Issue: Lack of coordination b/w law & order machinery of centre & state
  • Lack of Accountability:CBI is exempted from the provisions of the Right to Information Act, thus, lacking public accountability.
  • Acute shortage of personnel
  • Limited Powers:The powers and jurisdiction of members of the CBI for investigation are subject to the consent of the State Govt., thus limiting the extent of investigation by CBI.
  • Restricted Access:Prior approval of Central Government to conduct inquiry or investigation on the employees of the Central Government, of the level of Joint Secretary and above is a big obstacle in combating corruption at higher levels of bureaucracy.

Way Forward

  • 2nd ARC – “a new law should be enacted to govern the working of the CBI”- L P Singh committee
    • Law should ensure set objectives, define performance standards and establish monitoring instrument, prescribe procedures for appointment and removal of officers, delineate the CBI’s powers as well as functions, outline the philosophy and practices expected of the agency, and, prescribe mechanisms to ensure their accountability. There should be no provision that can be used to provide impunity.
  • Malimath Committee, 2003 – Define & delineate federal crimes, put in Union list (e.g. Organised crime, Terrorism etc)
  • VineetNarain Judgement, 1997 – (Hawala case)
    • need to “provide permanent insulation” to agencies such as CBI against “extraneous influences to enable them to discharge their duties
    • CBI director shall have a “minimum tenure of two years, regardless of the date of his superannuation”
    • Transfer of CBI Director should have the approval of the selection committee
    • CVC should ensure that CBI probes thoroughly, not the govt.
    • CBI need not seek approval of the government before going ahead with the probe against top bureaucrats
    • Judicial Oversight rather than executive at all stages of investigation
  • Twenty fourth report of Department related parliamentary standing committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice on working of CBI :
    • Strengthening human resources by increasing strength of CBI;
    • Better investments in infrastructural facilities;
    • Increased financial resource and administrative empowerment with accountability;
    • CBI should take suo-motu cognisance of crimes, and said that this would in no way affect the essentials of our federal structure
    • Give more Powers (related to Union, State and Concurrent list of the 7thschedule of Indian constitution), to the CBI;
    • Separate enactment under – “Central Bureau of Intelligence and Investigation Act” and replace DSPE Act.
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