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5) CBI has come under the scanner in recent days. Discuss the issues faced by India’s premier investigative agency and the role of judiciary in ensuring that CBI no longer functions as a “caged parrot”?(250 words)

Topic-   Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

5) CBI has come under the scanner in recent days. Discuss the issues faced by India’s premier investigative agency and the role of judiciary in ensuring that CBI no longer functions as a “caged parrot”?(250 words)

Epw

Why this question

CBI has been caught in a den of controversies with allegations and counter allegations being thrown left, right and centre. The issue of interest for us is understanding the reasons behind the current state of affairs and the role judiciary has played in ensuring some semblance of independence in CBI.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain in detail the issues faced by CBI and the role played by judiciary in reforming CBI and the impact of such measures. We need to finally provide a forward looking view explaining the nature of reforms required by CBI.

Directive word

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about CBI as an organization , about DSPE Act etc

Body

  • Highlight that the current controversies associated with CBI is symptomatic of larger problems.
  • Discuss the issues plaguing CBI –
    • CBI is Vulnerable to political pressure.
    • Less than 10 per cent of the cases handed over to the CBI have political overtones, and this is what gives the organization a bad name.
    • CBI is facing the staff shortage, which is required to deal with the daily dealings of the CBI office.
    • Supreme Court and High Courts are handing over a large number of sensitive cases to the CBI for investigation without additional manpower
    • The CBI is facing an acute shortage of manpower in the ranks of Constable, Head Constable, Inspector and Superintendent of Police.
    • Enormous delays in concluding investigations.
    • In majority of the cases of corruption and financial irregularities probed by the CBI, the accused goes unpunished.
    • Biased and casual course of action in the cases where its own official is under suspicion
    • Agency often fails to establish the money trail involved in the corruption
    • situations like withdrawal of notification of empowerment by the state with hidden motives.
  • Discuss the role judiciary has played in reforming CBI as discussed in the article with respect to reforming the appointment process etc
  • Give suggestions as to what can be done to improve the functioning of CBI. Can mention that in the past, CBI directors have given the suggestions to tackle this problem of coordination with state governments. Like:- Promulgation of the CBI act on par with the customs act or income tax act.
    It would provide CBI officers with independence outside CrPC without any state government interference. Suggest other measures of reforms in the CBI

Conclusion – Explain the importance of an independent and effective investigative agency and discuss way forward.