Empower CBI like the FBI, says parliamentary panel

March 11th, 2008 - 6:37 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) A parliamentary committee Tuesday recommended that the government give urgent statutory backing to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) so that it could take on cases independently, especially in the current climate of high-tech crime and new age terror. Suggesting that the CBI be armed with powers like the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the US, the panel asserted that it was high time this idea was translated into action instead of being debated endlessly.

In the light of threat levels posed by organised crime and terror groups, the committee headed by E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan has suggested the CBI be also envisaged as an enforcement agency which would mean that apart from investigation and prosecution it would be given a mandate to ensure prevention of crimes.

“The committee recommends that a separate anti-terrorism division should be created in the CBI. The committee regrets that no proactive steps have so far been taken in this regard in spite of strong recommendations,” the panel said.

“The committee strongly opines that unless CBI is suitably empowered statutorily, it cannot investigate cases and take it to its logical conclusion.”

Considering that the CBI has been in high demand especially when state police forces fail in their duty, the committee felt an already overburdened CBI had its hands full.

“The expansion of the CBI mandate has not been accompanied by commensurate augmentation of the infrastructure and resources within the CBI,” maintained the panel.

“The committee strongly feels that strengthening the CBI in terms of resources and legal mandate is the remedy to this problem.”

More important, the committee has recommended that the CBI be equipped with forensic labs at their exclusive disposal and technically trained personnel. Currently, forensic tests are carried out in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.

To minimise pendency of cases, the panel recommended timely appointment of judges in exclusive CBI courts.

Among the other measures suggested, the panel said vacancies should be filled on a war footing and within three months.

In its 57-page report, the panel said that the deputation policy should be so framed that it does not adversely affect the promotion aspects of direct CBI officers.

While appointing the director, the panel said, preference should be given to the person with the prescribed qualifications and who has experience working in the organisation.

The panel has also recommended that world-class gadgets be provided to CBI personnel to ensure timely execution of work and that the agency be given an in-house research and development wing.

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