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Date : Dec 02, 2021

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Statutory and Non-Statutory Bodies


  • What exactly is CBI:


  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is India's top investigative agency.
  • It is overseen by the Department of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pensions & Public Grievances, Government of India, which is part of the prime minister's office.
  • The Central Vigilance Commission, on the other hand, is in charge of investigations under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
  • It also serves as India's nodal police agency, coordinating investigations on behalf of Interpol member countries.
  • It has a conviction record of 65 to 70%, which puts it on par with the greatest investigation organisations in the world.


  • The observations of the court on the CBI are as follows:


  • The CBI is governed by the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE), which also grants it the jurisdiction to register charges. It has nothing to do with the Indian Union.
  • The central vigilance commission (CVC) is in charge of overseeing the CBI, and the CVC Act makes it plain that the agency's investigations cannot be interfered with.


  • CBI's autonomy presents a number of challenges:


  • Because many of the agency's investigators come from the Indian Police Service, it is reliant on the home ministry for staffing.
  • In terms of attorneys, the agency is reliant on the Ministry of Justice, and it also lacks certain functional autonomy.
  • Because top officials are reliant on the Central government for future postings, the CBI, which is run by IPS officers on deputation, is vulnerable to the government's capacity to manipulate them.
  • Dependence on State governments to exercise their authority to investigate cases in their jurisdiction, even when the probe is directed at a Central government official.
  • Because the police are a State subject under the Constitution, and the CBI follows the procedures provided by the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which makes it a police agency, the CBI need the agreement of the State government in issue before it may operate in that state. This is a time-consuming procedure that has resulted in some absurd situations.


  • SC on CBI's independence:
  • Vineet Narain v. Union of India, a key decision from 1997, outlined several ways to ensure the CBI's autonomy.


  • Why the Supreme Court coined the term "caged parrot" to describe CBI:


  • For years, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been undergoing a process of politicisation.
  • Corruption and political bias: The Supreme Court was chastised for acting like a caged parrot speaking in its master's voice.
  • Because the CBI has been accused of being a "handmaiden" to the ruling party, high-profile cases are not taken seriously.
  • Because the CBI is operated by central police officers on deputation, the possibility of being influenced by the government in the aim of better future postings was evident.


  • What kind of institutional changes are required:


  • Ascertain that the CBI operates under a formal, modern legal framework designed for a modern investigative agency.
  • The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (2007) recommended enacting a new law to control the CBI's operations.
  • A separate act should be enacted in accordance with the requirement with time to maintain credibility and impartiality, according to a recommendation made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee in 2007.
  • The legislative standing committees' 19th and 24th reports (2007 and 2008) proposed that the CBI be strengthened in terms of legal mandate, infrastructure, and resources.
  • The government must safeguard the outfit's financial independence.
  • It's also possible to give the CBI and other federal investigating agencies the same level of independence as the Comptroller and Auditor General, who is only answerable to Parliament.
  • A new CBI Act should be enacted that protects CBI's autonomy while also increasing the quality of its oversight. The new Act must define who is criminally liable for government meddling.
  • One of the demands before the Supreme Court, which is in accordance with international best practises, is that the CBI build its own devoted cadre of officers who are unconcerned with deputations or abrupt transfers.

Despite concerns about political abuse of the supervision, more effective parliamentary oversight of the federal criminal and intelligence agencies could be a step forward in ensuring stronger accountability.


  • Source à The Hindu à 02/12/21 à Page Number 5

Tags : Statutory and Non-Statutory Bodies, internal security

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