• Legis Scriptor

CBI Constitution

Authored By- Upasana Sahani

Key Words: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Investigating Agency, Investigation, Corruption, Bribery, Misconduct, Crime, Central government, Delhi Special Police, Government.


Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is that the premier investigating police agency in India. it's one among the most investigating agencies of the central government of India. It functions under the superintendence of the Department of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances, Government of India - which falls under the prime minister’s office. However for investigations of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, its superintendence vests with the Central Vigilance Commission. it's also the nodal police agency in India which coordinates investigation on behalf of Interpol Member countries. The CBI also can take a case which is referred by the government and court. The CBI can take any particular state case if the state police aren't ready to solve that case thanks to some reason but therein case, they have permission from the government. Its conviction rate is as high as 65 to 70% and it's like the simplest investigation agencies within the world.


Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the main investigating agency of the govt of India. It plays a crucial role in the prevention of corruption & maintaining integrity within the administration. It also provides assistance to Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) & Lok pal. Established in 1963 on the recommendation of the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption (1962-64). The Special Police Establishment (which looked into vigilance cases) was also merged with the CBI. CBI isn't a statutory body and its headquarter is in Delhi. CBI is an attached office under the executive control of the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions. It derives its powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946[i]. The motto of CBI is Industry, Impartiality and Integrity.


· Investigating cases of corruption, bribery & misconduct of central government employees.

· Investigating cases associated with violation of fiscal & economic laws.

· Investigating serious crimes.

· Coordinating activities of anti-corruption agencies & the varied state police forces.

· Taking up any case of public importance for the asking of government.

· Maintaining crime statistics and disseminating criminal information.

· CBI acts as a "National Central Bureau" of Interpol in India.

Historical Background

During the quantity of war II, a Special Police Establishment (SPE) was constituted in 1941 within the Department of War of British India to enquire into allegations of bribery and corruption within the war related procurements.

afterward it had been formalized as workplace of the govt. of India to research into allegations of corruption in various wings of the govt. of India by enacting the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946.

CBI derives power to research from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946[ii].

In 1963, the CBI was established by the govt. of India with a view to research serious crimes related to defense of India, corruption in high places, serious fraud, cheating and embezzlement and social crime, particularly of hoarding, black-marketing and profiteering in essential commodities, having all-India and inter-state ramifications.

With the passage of some time, CBI started investigations in conventional crimes like assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, crimes committed by extremists, etc.[iii]


CBI derives power to research from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. Section 2 of the Act vests DSPE with jurisdiction to research offences within the Union Territories only. However, the jurisdiction is often extended by the Central Government to other areas including Railway areas and States under Section 5(1) of the Act, provided the government accords consent under Section 6 of the Act. the chief officers of CBI of the rank of Sub Inspector and above, exercise all powers of a station office in-charge of the police headquarters for the concerned area for the aim of the investigation. As per Section 3 of the Act, the Special Police Establishment is authorized to research only those cases, which are notified by the Central Government from time to time.[iv]

Provision of prior permission

The CBI is required to get the prior approval of the central gov. before conducting an inquiry into an offence committed by officers of the rank of joint secretary & above within the central gov. and its authorities. However, the Supreme Court has negated this provision in its order.

Cases Handled by the CBI

· Anti-Corruption Crimes - for investigation of cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Public officials and therefore the employees of Central Government, Public Sector Undertakings, Corporations or Bodies owned or controlled by the govt of India.

· Economic Crimes - for investigation of major financial scams and high economic frauds, including crimes concerning Fake Indian Currency Notes, Bank Frauds and Cyber Crime, bank frauds, Import-Export & exchange violations, large-scale smuggling of narcotics, antiques, cultural property and smuggling of other contraband items etc.

· Special Crimes - for investigation of great and arranged crime under the Indian legal code and other laws on the requests of State Governments or on the orders of the Supreme Court and High Courts - like cases of terrorism, bomb blasts, kidnapping for ransom and crimes committed by the mafia/the underworld.

· Suo Moto Cases - CBI can suo-moto take up investigation of offences only within the Union Territories.

· The Central Government can authorize CBI to research a criminal offense during a State but only with the consent of the concerned government.

· The Supreme Court and High Courts, however, can order CBI to research a criminal offense anywhere within the country without the consent of the State.[v]

Director of CBI

Director, CBI as a military officer of Police, Delhi Special Police Establishment, is liable for the administration of the organization. Till 2014, the CBI Director was appointed on the idea of the DSPE Act, 1946. In 2003, the DSPE Act was revised on Supreme Court’s recommendation within the Vineet Narnia case[vi]. A committee that had members from the Central Vigilance Commission, Secretaries from Home Ministry, Ministry of Personnel, and Public Grievances would send recommendations to Central Government for the appointment of CBI Director.

In 2014, the Lokpal Act provided a committee for the appointment of CBI Director:

· Headed by Prime Minister

· Other members - Leader of Opposition/ Leader of the only largest opposition party, judge of India/ a Supreme Court Judge.

· Home Ministry sends an inventory of eligible candidates to DoPT. Then, the DoPT prepares the ultimate list on basis of seniority, integrity, and knowledge within the investigation of anti-corruption cases, and sends it to the committee.

· Director of CBI has been provided security of two-year tenure, by the CVC Act, 2003[vii].[viii]


The Supreme Court of India has criticized the CBI by calling it a "caged parrot speaking in its master's voice", thanks to excessive political interference in its functioning. it's often been employed by the govt of the day to hide up wrongdoing, keep coalition allies in line and political opponents cornered. It has been accused of enormous delays in concluding investigations - for instance, the inertia in its probe against the high dignitaries in Jain hawala diaries case.

Loss of Credibility: Improving the image of the agency is one among the most important challenges till now because the agency has been criticized for its mismanagement of several cases involving prominent politicians and mishandling of several sensitive cases like the Bofors scandal; Hawala scandal, Sant Singh Chatwal case, Bhopal gas tragedy, 2008 Noida double murder case(Aarushi Talwar).

Lack of Accountability: CBI is exempted from the provisions of the proper to Information Act, thus, lacking public accountability.

Acute shortage of personnel: a serious explanation for the shortfall is that the government's sheer mismanagement of CBI's workforce, through a system of inefficient, and inexplicably biased, recruitment policies - wont to usher in favored officers, possibly to the detriment of the organization.

Limited Powers: The powers and jurisdiction of members of the CBI for investigation are subject to the consent of the State Govt., thus limiting the extent of an investigation by CBI.

Restricted Access: Prior approval of the Central Government to conduct inquiry or investigation on the workers of the Central Government, of the extent of Joint Secretary and above may be a big obstacle in combating corruption at higher levels of bureaucracy.[ix]


Over the years, the Central Bureau of Investigation has emerged as a premier investigating agency of the country which enjoys the trust of the people, Parliament, Judiciary and therefore the Government. within the last 65 years, the organization has evolved from an anti-corruption agency to a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary central police enforcement agency with the capability, credibility and legal mandate to research and prosecute offences anywhere in India. [x]

By and enormous, the CBI maintains political neutrality, honesty and integrity. But the extent of such noble attributes of the organization may become subservient to the bosses who are at the helm. Ranjit Sinha, the previous Director himself is facing charges of corruption today. Chidambaram, former Union Minister for Home had denied the Supreme Court's taunt that the CBI was a caged Bird (of the Union Government). Now, his own son is being interrogated by the CBI on charges of monetary fraud. There are charges that the CBI has become the hatchet man for this NDA government. That's why I said “By and large”, the CBI maintains political neutrality, honesty and integrity. CBI is sort of a multidisciplinary investigation agency of the central gov. & undertakes an investigation of corruption-related cases, economic offences, and cases of conventional crime.

[i]Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946. [ii] Ibid [iii]Bhakto, A. (2018, November 08). The CBI story. Retrieved September 09, 2020, from [iv]About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved September 09, 2020, from [v]Bhakto, A. (2018, November 08). The CBI story. Retrieved September 09, 2020, from [vi]Vineet Narain& Others vs Union Of India & Another (December 18, 1997). [vii]Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003. [viii]Bhakto, A. (2018, November 08). The CBI story. Retrieved September 09, 2020, from [ix]Bhakto, A. (2018, November 08). The CBI story. Retrieved September 09, 2020, from [x]About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved September 09, 2020, from







· Inside CBI Hardcover – 1 January 1999 by Joginder Singh.

· Central Bureau of Investigation Its Power and Functions Paperback – 1 January 2017 by Kant Mani.