The CBI is often cited as an example of the rising politicisation of public institutions. In this context, identify the issues associated with the CBI’s functioning. What steps can be taken to address these issues.

Central Bureau of Investigation established under Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, is the central investigating agency to investigate serious criminal cases in India.

It has been repeatedly used as a political weapon by the ruling parties against opposition. SC has called it as a “caged parrot” pointing to its politicization.

Issues with functioning:

  1. Politicization due to lack of autonomy in functioning.
    • Under department of Personnel.
    • No independent funds.
    • Personnel drawn from department.
  2. Lack of independence of Directors of CBI.
    • Despite SC’s recommendation of a 2 year secured tenure, appointments are politically influenced.
  3. Need for consent by states to investigate in their jurisdiction.
    • Recently, a couple of states including West Bengal withdrew general consent.
  4. Overlapping jurisdiction with CVC, Lokpal, etc.
  5. Lack of legislative backing – CBI draws powers from DSPEA, 1941 and remains an executive body.
  6. Lack of credibility – due to scams like Bofors scandal.

Measures that can be taken:

  • Legal backing: Enactment of a comprehensive act to enable greater powers, transparent appointment procedure, etc.
  • Transparency in appointment & transfers of CBI personnel, including director.
  • Enhance jurisdiction of CBI to cover states removing the need for consent each time & conflicts with states.
  • A separate cadre of Central Intelligence Services under article 312 to provide trained personnel to CBI.
  • Training in modern techniques such as AI-based investigation & infrastructure upgradation.

CBI plays a crucial role in upholding prudence in administration, & hence its role should be protected from political influences, giving greater credibility.

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