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Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation traces its origin to the Special Police Establishment (SPE) which was set up in 1941 by the Government of India.
  • The functions of the SPE then were to investigate cases of bribery and corruption in transactions with the War & Supply Department of India during World War II. Superintendence of the S.P.E. was vested with the War Department.
  • Even after the end of the War, the need for a Central Government agency to investigate cases of bribery and corruption by Central Government employees was felt.
  • The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act was therefore brought into force in 1946. This Act transferred the superintendence of the SPE to the Home Department and its functions were enlarged to cover all departments of the Govt. of India.
  • The jurisdiction of the SPE extended to all the Union Territories and could be extended also to the States with the consent of the State Government concerned.
  • The DSPE acquired its popular current name, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), through a Home Ministry resolution dated 1.4.1963. Initially the offences that were notified by the Central Government related only to corruption by Central Govt. servants.
  • In due course, with the setting up of a large number of public sector undertakings, the employees of these undertakings were also brought under CBI purview. Similarly, with the nationalisation of the banks in 1969, the Public Sector Banks and their employees also came within the ambit of the CBI.

Emergence of CBI as a National Investigative Agency

  • From 1965 onwards, the CBI has also been entrusted with the investigation of Economic Offences and important conventional crimes such as murders, kidnapping, terrorist crimes, etc., on a selective basis.
  • The SPE initially had two Wings. They were the General Offences Wing (GOW) and Economic Offences Wing (EOW). The GOW dealt with cases of bribery and corruption involving the employees of Central Government and Public Sector Undertakings.
  • The EOW dealt with cases of violation of various economic/fiscal laws. Under tshis set-up, the GOW had at least one Branch in each State and the EOW in the four metropolitan cities, i.e, Delhi, Madras, Bombay and Calcutta.
  • These EOW Branches dealt with offences reported from the Regions, i.e, each Branch had jurisdiction over several States.

Widening Role of CBI

  • As the CBI, over the years, established a reputation for impartiality and competence, demands were made on it to take up investigation of more cases of conventional crime such as murder, kidnapping, terrorist crime, etc.
  • Apart from this, even the Supreme Court and the various High Courts of the country also started entrusting such cases for investigation to the CBI on petitions filed by aggrieved parties.
  • Taking into account the fact that several cases falling under this category were being taken up for investigation by the CBI, it was found expedient to entrust such cases to the Branches having local jurisdiction.
  • It was therefore decided in 1987 to constitute two investigation divisions in the CBI, namely, Anti-Corruption Division and Special Crimes Division, the latter dealing with cases of conventional crime, besides economic offences.

The following broad categories of criminal cases are handled by the CBI:

  • Cases of corruption and fraud committed by public servants of all Central Govt. Departments, Central Public Sector Undertakings and Central Financial Institutions.
  • Economic crimes, including bank frauds, financial frauds, Import Export & Foreign Exchange violations, large-scale smuggling of narcotics, antiques, cultural property and smuggling of other contraband items etc.
  • Special Crimes, such as cases of terrorism, bomb blasts, sensational homicides, kidnapping for ransom and crimes committed by the mafia/the underworld.

CBI may investigate:

  • Cases which are essentially against Central Govt. employees or concerning affairs of the Central Govt.
  • Cases in which the financial interests of the Central Government are involved.
  • Cases relating to the breaches of Central Laws with the enforcement of which the Government of India is mainly concerned.
  • Big cases of fraud, cheating, embezzlement and the like relating to companies in which large funds are involved and similar other cases when committed by organised gangs or professional criminals having ramifications in several States.
  • Cases having interstate and international ramifications and involving several official agencies where, from all angles, it is considered necessary that a single investigating agency should be incharge of the investigation.

 

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