CBI and its credibility

CBI and its credibility

News: Delivering the 19th D.P. Kohli Memorial lecture, Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has come under deep public scrutiny. Its actions and inactions have raised questions regarding its credibility.

About CBI:
• The CBI was set up in 1963 by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs
• The CBI at present is under the control of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
• CBI derives power to investigate from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
• The Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption recommended the establishment of the CBI.
• It also offers assistance to the Central Vigilance Commission and Lokpal.

Shortcomings in the functioning of CBI:
• Political Interference: The Supreme court has been critical of CBI by terming it as a ‘caged parrot speaking in it’s masters voice’
• Shortage of workforce: Government has been accused of mismanaging the resources of CBI, through a system of inefficient, and biased recruitment policies which is used to bring in favored officers.
• Limited Powers: The powers of members of CBI are subject to the consent of the state government.
• Multiple agencies: A single incident these days gets investigated by multiple agencies which often leads to dilution of evidence and delay in decision making, thus further undermining the credibility of the CBI.

Suggestions recommended by CJI:
• CJI proposed to bring several central agencies like the CBI, ED and Serious Fraud Investigation Officer (SFIO) under one roof.
• He further suggested that such organisation should be headed by an independent and impartial authority, appointed similarly like the CBI director.
• He emphasized on the need for adequate representation of women in the criminal justice system.
• He underscored the need for having harmonious relationship between the Centre and States. He recommended giving due recognition to state agencies, personnel as police and public order form part of state list.
• Lastly, police reforms are long overdue which included lack of infrastructure, sufficient manpower and modern equipment. 

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