Par panel seeks CBI’s view on need for new law to define its mandate, vest more powers
New Delhi: A parliamentary panel has sought views of the Central Bureau of Investigation on the need to amend existing laws or bring out a new legislation in order to clearly define its mandate and vest more power to it.
Highlighting over 1,000 vacant posts in the federal probe agency, it asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prepare a roadmap as to how and by when it plans to fill up such a large number of vacancies.
In a report, the panel also hoped that the government provides adequate funds to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) for strengthening surveillance capabilities and for setting up a centralised surveillance database.
Agreeing with CBI’s view that withdrawal of general consent by states impedes its investigation, the panel in its earlier report had recommended to the government to assess if there is a need to amend the existing laws or bring out a new law altogether in order to clearly define the mandate of CBI and vest more powers in it.
It was informed that state governments have withdrawn general consent under section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act to CBI for conducting investigation in the state (not being a Union Territory or railway area) and they are now giving the requisite consent case by case basis.
“The committee is concerned to note that CBI has not submitted its views as to whether there is a need to amend the existing laws or bring out a new legislation altogether in order to clearly define the mandate of CBI and vest more powers in it. The committee would like CBI to state its opinion regarding the same,” said the report tabled in parliament on December 10.
The assertion was made by the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, headed by BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, in its report titled ‘Action taken on one-hundred sixth report of the Committee on demands for grants (2021-22) pertaining to the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions’.
The panel, had in its earlier report, said that the CBI was in grave need of cadre restructuring and recommended to the government to undertake it at the earliest.
In its action taken report, the personnel ministry informed that approved cadre strength of CBI in all ranks is 7,273 and the strength of this bureau has been increased at various occasions, but overall re-structuring in a holistic manner has never taken place.
“With regard to increase in manpower in CBI is concerned, it is mentioned that a proposal for cadre review/restructuring of CBI is already under consideration in consultation with CBI for creation of 734 additional posts in different ranks,” it said.
It stated that departmental CBI officers play a very important role in investigations, but at the same time, officers on deputation from states/central police organisations/central armed police forces/banks, among others, at various levels bring fresh and new ideas based on their experience in different fields.
The ministry pointed out that the deputation reserve has been reduced at various levels.
“In case, only direct recruitment quota is prescribed for various technical posts of CBI, it will affect career progression of staff due to limited number of posts available in hierarchy,” the report said.
To which, the panel observed that the CBI has apprised it that there are as many as 822 vacancies in executive ranks, 88 vacancies for law officer, 97 vacancies for technical officer, as on January 31, 2021.
“The committee recommends CBI to prepare a roadmap as to how and by when it plans to fill up such a large number of vacancies. The Committee also hopes that cadre restructuring exercise is initiated soon,” the report said.
Referring to its earlier report, the panel had recommended the Personnel Ministry to provide adequate funds to CVC for strengthening surveillance capabilities and for setting up a centralized surveillance database as it believed that increased surveillance would lead to better vigilance.
The ministry said additional requirement of funds, if any, to cater to the needs of CVC, will be taken up with the Finance Ministry at the supplementary/ revised estimates 2021-22 stage.
“The committee notes the reply of the ministry and hopes that adequate funds should be provided to CVC for strengthening surveillance capabilities and for setting up a centralised surveillance database,” the report added.