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The Big Picture – CBI: Should it be within the ambit of RTI and Whistleblower laws?


  • As many the controversial cases the CBI has been investigating it seems to be involved in as many controversies itself.
  • The CBI director is accused of meeting the persons who are friends or relatives of those accused under the cases being investigated.
  • According to a former CBI director, it is not appropriate to receive the people known to accused or accused himself at the director’s residence which is the unwritten law. It is appropriate to meet such persons at the offices to avoid speculations.
  • The present CBI director has defended himself by saying that it was necessary for him to meet those people to get to know whether his officers are doing the right thing or wrong thing.
  • Question which arises is: Does a senior police officer need to meet the accused or his representatives to find out whether his officers are doing the right thing or not?
  • CBI is now under Deptt. of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances, Government of India.
  • DoPT works like a secretariat of CBI but not the other way round.
  • CBI has the tendency of hitting the iron when it is hot.
  • CBI is an autonomous agency under the CrPC. Some sections under CrPC give autonomous powers to the investigating powers to the officers under CBI.
  • Need of the hour is to remove the constraints on their functioning.
  • More and more cases are being handed over to CBI by not only the central Government but also by the Supreme Court and High courts. And many posts in CBI are kept vacant. So there should be functional autonomy and the Director should be made accountable to the Courts directly.Functional autonomy include filling up of the vacant posts by the director himself.
  • According to the RTI law, intelligence agencies and security agencies and organizations under schedule 2 of the RTI act are outside the ambit of RTI. But many argue that the CBI doesn’t fit into either of these categories.
  • The question now is: why the CBI has been kept out of the ambit of the law as it is neither the security nor intelligence organization? CBI defends itself by saying that the RTI is impeding its investigations.
  • The government to protect itself from providing information on sensitive issues like 2G scam, granted blanket protection to the CBI.
  • Revelation of identity of whistleblower is not the right thing to do according to many experts.