News Karnataka
Saturday, September 23 2023

Staff crunch in CBI hurting crucial investigations

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New Delhi: According to data available on the CBI website till June last year, it had only 5735 personnel as against the sanctioned strength of 6674 officers. The premier investigation agency has been working without a special director since Anil Sinha was elevated to take over as its chief in December last year.
The absence of officers at the top level has hit CBI’s probe in several sensitive cases including the Rs 3600 crore AugustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, 2G scam, coalgate and several ponzi scams involving over Rs 80,000 crore.

CBI officers say there is desperate need for the agency to fill up top vacancies to take pending investigations to their logical conclusion without delay. There is shortage of investigators, law officers and officers at the executive rank, sources said.

In the meanwhile, for the past one year, 1980 batch Tamil Nadu cadre IPS officer Archana Ramasundaram reaches the CBI headquarters at Lodi Road every day at 9.30 am. But the first woman additional director of the agency cannot do any work – be it review the case files, sign administrative papers, give views or attend important meetings.

On May 9 last year, the Supreme Court had restrained her from doing any work after petitioner Vineet Narain said the government imposed its chosen officer on CBI despite the selection committee not recommending her name for the additional director’s post. The Tamil Nadu government had also opposed her shift to the centre.

There is a strength of four special directors/additional directors, considered the helping hands of CBI chief. With Ramasundaram having no work, the agency is working only with one such officer – R K Dutta. Special directors and additional directors are crucial in supervising probe conducted by the agency’s different units and also take a view on the fate of any investigation.
According to CBI manual, special directors/additional directors play an important role in matters relating to complaints, proposals for registration of cases, final reports and follow-up action on results of trial and departmental action, including decision to verify source information reports, subject to guidance and control of CBI director CBI.

All other cases which are to be put up before the CBI Director are also supposed to go through these officers.

Reports concerning brigadiers in the Army and their equivalent in Navy and Air Force, senior management level and board level appointees such as general manager/chief general managers, executive directors, deputy managing directors of PSUs and nationalized banks are also referred to special directors/additional directors.

Besides they also look into cases registered on the references received from CVC, home ministry and DoPT among others.

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