• Central Bureau of Investigation is the premier investigating agency

  • Set up in 1963 by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Operating under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (India)
  • Special Police Establishment (which looked into vigilance cases) setup in 1941 was merged
  • recommended by the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption
  • Not a statutory body
  • derives its powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946
  • Provides assistance to the Central Vigilance Commission and Lokpal
  • Exempted from the provisions of the Right to Information Act
  • India’s officially designated single point of contact for liaison with the Interpol

Note: National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigate incidents of terrorist attacks, funding of terrorism and other terror related crime

Composition of Central Bureau of Investigation

  • Headed by a Director (an IPS officer with a rank of Director General of Police) Central Bureau of Investigation
  • Security of two-year tenure by the CVC Act, 2003

Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act (2013) amended the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (1946):

  • Central Government shall appoint the Director of CBI on the recommendation of a three-member committee consisting:
  • Prime Minister as Chairperson,
  • Leaderof Opposition in the Lok Sabha (If no recognized leader of opposition in LS, leader of the single largest opposition party)
  • Chief Justice of Indiaor Judge of the Supreme Court nominated by
  • Directorate of prosecution headed by aDirector appointed by the Central Government on recommendation of CVC for 2 Years
  • Central Government shall appoint officers of the rank of SP and above in the CBI on the recommendation of CVC as chairperson

Functions of Central Bureau of Investigation

  • Corruption, bribery and misconduct of Central Govt. Employees
  • Infringement of fiscal and economic laws, that is, breach of laws, customs and central excise, foreign exchange etc
  • Serious crimes / national and international ramifications / professional criminals
  • Coordinating anticorruption agencies & state police forces
  • Take request of State Govt. (Any Case for investigation)
  • Maintain crime statistics and disseminating criminal
  • Takes up investigation of conventional crimes like murder, kidnapping, rape etc.

Provision of Prior Permission

  • Obtain the prior approval of the Central Government into an offence committed by officers of the rank of joint secretary and above in the Central Government
    • In 2014, SC held, invalid the legal provision that makes prior sanction mandatory against senior bureaucrats in corruption cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

CBI Vs. State Police

  • Special Police Establishment (Division of CBI)
  • Enjoys the concurrent powers under the Delhi Police Establishment Act, 1946
  • Administrative arrangements:
    • Take up such cases which are essentially and substantially concerned with the Central Government’s affairs or employees, even if they also involve certain state government employees and vice-versa
    • Cases against employees of public undertakings or statutory bodies established and financed by the Central Government

CBI and Consent of States

  • Recently, the Supreme Court has held that once a court takes cognizance of a corruption case investigated by the CBI, it cannot be set aside for lack of the State government’s prior consent for the probe against some of the accused, unless it is shown that it has resulted in prejudice.

Supreme Court’s Stand:

  • It held that if the State had given a general consent to CBI investigation in a corruption case and cognizance had been taken by a court, the case cannot be set aside unless the public servants plead that prejudice has been caused to them on account of non-obtaining of prior consent.
  • Further the judges held that the case cannot be set aside unless the illegality in the investigation can be shown to have brought about miscarriage of justice.

Types of Consent Given by state government

  • There are two types of consent for a probe by the CBI. These are: general and specific.
  • When a state gives a general consent (Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act) to the CBI for probing a case, the agency is not required to seek fresh permission every time it enters that state in connection with investigation or for every case.
  • When a general consent is withdrawn, CBI needs to seek case-wise consent for investigation from the concerned state government. If specific consent is not granted, the CBI officials will not have the power of police personnel when they enter that state.
  • This hurdle impedes seamless investigation by the CBI. A general consent is given to facilitate that seamless investigation in a case of corruption or violence.

High Courts and the Supreme Court

  • The High Courts and the Supreme Court have the jurisdiction to order a CBI investigation into an offence alleged to have been committed in a state without the state’s consent, according to a five-judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court on 17 Feb 2010.
    • The bench ruled: “Being the protectors of civil liberties of the citizens, this Court and the High Courts have not only the power and jurisdiction but also an obligation to protect the fundamental rights, guaranteed by Part III in general and under Article 21 of the Constitution in particular, zealously and vigilantly”
  • The SC in CBI VS CBI case held that the power to remove/send on leave the director of CBI, vested in the selection committee, not with the central govt. SC says this verdict when CBI Director challenge the decision of central govt to send him on leave without his will.

Controversy & Criticism of Central Bureau of Investigation

  • In 2013, Judge of the Supreme Court of India (and later Chief Justice of India)  M. Lodha criticized the CBI for being a “caged parrot speaking in its master’s voice”, due to its excessive political interference irrespective of which party happened to be in power.
  • It has also been criticized for dragging its feet investigating prominent politicians.
  • In January 2006 it was discovered that the CBI had quietly unfrozen bank accounts belonging to Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, one of those accused in the 1986 Bofors
  • A 1991 arrest of militants in Kashmir led to a raid on hawala brokers, revealing evidence of large-scale payments to national politicians.
  • Priyadarshini Mattoo murder case
  • Sister Abhaya
  • Sohrabuddin case
  • Sant Singh Chatwal case
  • Malankara Varghese murder case
  • Bhopal gas tragedy
  • 2G spectrum case
  • Indian coal allocation scam
  • 2008 Noida double murder case

Note: CBI Academy is located at Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh and started functioning in 1996

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