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Parliamentary Panel on CBI

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Statutory Bodies


Source: Business Line

 Context: The department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice have highlighted that the CBI’s conviction of cases rate has come down while its pendency in courts has escalated

 Key points highlighted by the Panel:

  • Decreasing conviction rate: From 743 (2012), the numbers slipped to 169 in 2020 and 202 in 2021
  • Pendency: Probe was pending in 1,025 CBI cases as of January 31, 2022, with 66 languishing for more than five years and some cases being pending for over 20 years
  • Reducing the number of registered cases: From about 1,000-1,150 cases registered by the agency during 2012-17, the number dipped to 600-900 cases between 2017 and 2021.
  • Issues with recruitment: There is a huge manpower shortage and no provision for direct recruitment of candidates above the rank of sub-inspector in CBI.
  • Withdrawl of General Consent: Over 9 state governments have withdrawn their general consent to CBI


Recommendations by the Panel:

  • Case Management system: CBI should put a case management system in place to track the progress and pursue it to its logical conclusion.
    • This will not only expedite the disposal of cases but will also enhance transparency and promote accountability in the functioning of the agency
  • Direct recruitment: CBI should have a provision for direct recruitment for the posts of inspector or deputy superintendent of police.
    • Currently, the CBI’s sanctioned strength of 480 posts of sub-inspectors is filled through direct recruitment, promotions and departmental examinations in the ratio of 70:15:15.
  • Politics should not override the practical nature of crime: CBI deals with complex nature crimes involving various states and agencies. Therefore, before withdrawing consent, states should consider these practicalities so that seamless investigation is not hampered.



Other issues with CBI:

  • The politicisation of the CBI has been a work in progress for years.
  • Corruption and Politically biased:This was highlighted in Supreme Court criticism for being a caged parrot speaking in its master’s voice.
  • CBI has been accused of becoming a ‘handmaiden’ to the party in power, as a result, high-profile cases are not treated seriously.
  • Since CBI is run by central police officials on deputation hence chances of getting influenced by the government were visible in the hope of better future postings.


What other reforms are needed for CBI?

  • The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (2007)suggested that a new law should be enacted to govern the working of the CBI.
  • Parliamentary standing committee (2007) recommended that a separate act should be promulgated in tune with requirements with time to ensure credibility and impartiality.
    • The new Act must specify criminal culpability for government interference
  • Financial and administrative Autonomy: The government must ensure financial and administrative autonomy for the CBI similar to CAG.
  • CBI to develop its own dedicated cadre of officers who are not bothered about deputation and abrupt transfers.
  • A more efficient parliamentary oversightover the federal criminal and intelligence agencies to ensure better accountability, despite concerns regarding political misuse of the oversight



Prelims Link:

  1. About CBI, ED, SFO and its establishment.
  2. Provisions of the DSPE Act and other laws backing investigating agencies.


Mains Link:

Q. Discuss the need for an independent umbrella body to regulate various central investigating agencies in India. Suggest reforms in this regard. (15M)