Central Bureau of Investigation: A caged parrot

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the premier investigating police agency in India. CBI is established under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. Section 2 of this Act provides us with a procedure to establish a special Police establishment. The Director is the Ex-Officio of the CBI who is appointed by recommendation of a committee which is formulated under Section 4 of this Act. Provision related to power and procedure provides under section 6 of this Act. CBI has no longer been a trusted institution due to government intervention. More than a degree, these interferences are a threat to democracy and justice. The investigating agency, which was once termed as a “caged parrot” by the Supreme Court, had been left red-faced by the courts in many such cases, putting a question mark over the probe conducted by it.

Introduction – “Industry, Impartiality and Integrity”

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) operates under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Personnel. It is the foremost investigating police agency in India and is involved in major criminal, corrupt and investigation cases.

Central Bureau of Investigation is a reputed Investigation agency of our country. CBI has solved many complicated cases. It has played a significant role in administering justice to the people. Numbers of Cases, Baba Ram Rahim case, Nithari Massacre and Priyadarshini Mattu Rape and Murder, CBI play an important role in administering justice to the People.

The primary target behind the foundation of this office is to researching cases identifying with the encroachment of financial and monetary laws, that is, break of laws concerning fare and import control, customs and central excise, income tax, outside trade guidelines, etc.


Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the premier investigating police agency in India. The CBI owes its inception to the Delhi Special Police Establishment, established in 1941, to inquire into instances of defilement in the acquisition during the Second World War. Later, in the light of the proposals of the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption, CBI was set up with a goal of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Later, it was moved to the Ministry of Personnel, and now it appreciates the status of a connected office.

It assumes a significant job in the avoidance of defilement and keeping up honesty in the organization. It works under the general administration of the Central Vigilance Commission on issues identified with the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Its conviction rate is as high as 65 to 70%, and it is practically identical to the best investigation agency in the whole world.

Constitution of CBI

The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) was first considered in 1941 as the Special Police Establishment by the then Government of India as per CBI Constitution. The basic purpose for the establishment of this institution was the realization that the massive expenditures incurred by the government in the war

The insufficiency of the police to manage such issues was obvious, since these bodies, working under the government, couldn’t appropriately explore cases including government authorities. Subsequently, these conditions justified the setting up of another and separate association which would concentrate just the instances of payoff and debasement (which were tormenting the nation) which lead to the CBI Constitution.

Delhi Special Police Establishment Act 1946

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.

Section 2 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act 1946 – Constitution and powers of the special police establishment

According to the provision of Section 2 (1) of this Act, the Central Government has the power to constitute a special police force

Any officials of the Police force which is established under Section 2 (1) of the Act may, subject to any orders which the Central Government may make in this behalf, exercise in –

“Any of the power of the officials responsible for a police headquarters in the zone in which he is for now and when so practicing such powers will, subject to any such requests as previously mentioned, be regarded to be an official accountable for a police headquarters releasing the elements of such an official inside the restrictions of his station”.

The provisions related to the establishment of the Central Bureau of Investigation is in Section 2 of this Act. In exercise of forces under Section 2 (1) of Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, the Central Government comprises a Special Police Force for examination in any Union Territory of offences informed under Section 3 of DSPE Act, 1946. The force and purview of this Special Forces can be reached out by ethics of Section 5 of DSPE Act, 1946 to any other zones/State not being a Union Territory for the examination of any offences or classes of offences informed under Section 3 of DSPE Act, 1946 with the assent of the Government of that State. Further, Constitutional courts can likewise depend on any case or class of case for examination in the exercise of inborn purview even without the assent of the separate State Government.


Section 4 of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act deals with the appointment of the Director of CBI

Section 4 A-Committee for Appointment of Director –  Provision for establishing a committee for appointment a Director provided in Sec 4A of this Act. The chairperson of the Committee is Prime Minister of India. One chairperson and 2 members total of 3 people on this Committee.


Leader of Opposition of Lok Sabha or the Leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha, if the former is not present due to lack of mandated strength in the Lok Sabha, Justice of India or a Supreme Court Judge is recommended by the Chief Justice.

The appointment of Directors is not invalid on the basis that ant of the member of the Committee is absent. The Committee must recommend the name of the officer for the post of  Director based on seniority, and experience in the investigation of anti-corruption cases.

 Sec 4B – Terms and Conditions of service of Director

The tenure of Director is not less than 2 years from the date on which he assumes office. The Director shall not be transferred without the previous consent appointment committee

Sec 4C – Appointment for posts of Superintendent of Police and above, extension and curtailment of their tenure, etc

The Committee referred to in section 4A shall, after consulting the Director, recommend officers for appointment to the posts of the level of Superintendent of Police and above and also recommend the extension or curtailment of thetenure of such officers in the Delhi Special Police Establishment.


Sec 3 of the Act

Power and Function of DSPE including CBI, are notified in the Official Gazette by the Central Government, specify the offences or class of offences which are to be investigated by the CBI.

Sec6 – Consent of State Government to exercise of powers and jurisdiction

According to the provision of Section 6 of this Act DSPE including CBI exercise his power in any state with the consent of the State government.

Recently the Kolkata Police detained a team of CBI that arrived at the home of Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar to question him in connection with Sardha chit fund scam.

Sec 6A – Approval of Central Government to conduct inquiry or investigation

 The Delhi Special Police Establishment shall not conduct any inquiry or investigation into any offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (49 of 1988)  except with the previous approval of the Central Government where such allegation relates to

It has formed into a multidisciplinary investigation association over some time frame. Today it has three divisions for the examination of wrongdoing. They are:-

  1. Anti-Corruption Division– Examination of cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against the Public Offices, officials of the government and Public sector undertakings.
  2. Economic Offenses Division – Investigating the various serious financial frauds and scam and other various crimes related to fake currency etc.
  3. Special Crimes Division –For the examination of genuine, sensational and sorted out wrongdoing under the Indian Penal Code and different laws on the solicitations of State Governments or the sets of the Supreme Court and High Courts.

    CBI helps battle digital and high innovation wrongdoing. Bolster state police associations and law implementation offices in national and worldwide collaboration, especially identifying with inquiries and examination of cases. Assume a lead job in the war against national and transnational sorted out wrongdoing. Maintain Human Rights, ensure the earth, expressions, collectables and the legacy of our development. 

    The CBI is the primary Investigation Agency of the GOI. It’s anything but a legal body; it gets its forces from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.  Its significant job is to forestall defilement and keep up respectability in the organization. It works under the management of the CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) in issues relating to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

    Research cases associated with encroachment of monetary and financial laws, i.e., breaking of laws concerning customs and focal extract, fare and import control, personal duty, outside trade guidelines, and so forth. Be that as it may, instances of this nature are taken up by the CBI either in line with the division concerned or in discussion with the concerned office.

    Explore violations of a genuine sort, that have national and worldwide consequences, and carried out by proficient crooks or composed packs.  Coordinate the exercises of the different state police powers and anti-corruption agencies.

    At the command of a state govt., the CBI can likewise take up any instance of open significance and explore it. Keeping up wrongdoing insights and dispersing criminal data. The CBI is India’s delegate for correspondence with the INTERPOL.

Comparison with State Police

CBI is a central agency, which is established under the DSPE Act and the State Police is governed under the Police Act. Whole power related to promotion, appointment and selection in the Police Department is vested in the State. In contrast, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the premier investigating police agency in India.

Primarily, the state-level agency which is responsible for maintaining Law and order in the State. CBI is a central investigating agency who handle the various highlight matters. There are various differences on the various basis between CBI and Police.

  1. Jurisdiction– Police is a state agency, and his duty is to maintain Law and order of the State. CBI is a central agency and his jurisdiction in the whole of India.

  2.  Area Of Operation – Central Bureau of Investigation is a central agency which deals with matters relating to corruption. CBI exercises his power when the cases handed over to him by the State, Centre and the High Courts of India. Police is a Local, State agency which deals with the Law and order of the State.

  3. Appointment – The State Government can delegate the officials of police. The IPS officials are selected by the Centre and sent to the states according to his cadre to serve. The provision related to the appointment of CBI officials provided in Section 4 of the Delhi Special Police Investigation Act. The CBI officials are appointed by the Central government. The Senior positions are involved with IPS officials who join CBI on delegation.

  4. Investigation Procedure – CBI is an investigating agency which is specially established for deals with various sensitive matters which are unable to handle by the local agency. CBI starts his investigation after the recommendation of Cente state or High Court.

    CBI is allowed to begin an investigation against any official or worker of the Central government, including top civil servants, serves and even High Court and Supreme Court Judges without taking government consent.

  5. Tenure – The appointment of CBI officials, according to the provision of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act. The Director of CBI appoints after the recommendation of a committee which is established under Section 4 of this Act. The tenure of CBI director is two years.

    The Chief of State Police, i.e. Director-General, has no such tenure. He can be removed anytime by the state government.

Criticism of CBI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) acts to a great extent at the command of the legislature of the day,  and this turns out to be very evident from the things done and not done. For example, 2G spectrum, coal scam and Arushi Talwar murder. At whatever point the administration needed to squeeze them, the CBI was utilized to seek after the instance of lopsided resources against them. At the point when the government officials came around, the case went cold.

The Supreme Court of India has censured the CBI by considering it a “caged parrot speaking in its master voice”, because of over the top political impedance in its working.

Loss of Credibility

The Image of CBI as a central agency is not so reputed in the country. CBI has no longer been a trusted institution due to government intervention. Few cases, including unmistakable government officials and misusing of several sensitive cases like Bofors Scam, Hawala outrage, Sant Singh Chatwal case, Bhopal gas misfortune,  Arushi Talwar Murder etc.

Acute shortage of personnel

This is a problem which is common in every Agency or Institution. Lack of workforce, lack of trained persons, through a system of insufficiency, and mysteriously one-sided potential to the burden of the association, these are some problems.

Limited Powers

To exercise his power and jurisdiction are subject to the will of the State, in this way constraining the degree of investigation of CBI.

Restricted Access

Earlier endorsement of Central Government to lead request or examination of the workers of the Central Government, of the degree of Joint Secretary or more is a major deterrent in fighting corruption at more elevated levels of administration.

Need Reforms in Central Bureau of Investigation

L.P. Singh Committee

In 1978, the Committee appointed, under the chairmanship of L.P. Singh, former union home secretary, had made wide-ranging suggestion to improve the CBI’s working.  L.P. The Committee recommended “enactment of comprehensive central legislation to remove the deficiency of not having a central investigative agency with a self-sufficient statutory charter of duties and functions”.

The nineteenth report of the parliamentary standing committee (2007) suggested that a different Act ought to be declared for the CBI  “on top of the prerequisites of an opportunity to guarantee believability and unprejudiced nature” The 24th report of the parliamentary standing panel (2008) was on the consistent assessment that  “the need of great importance is to reinforce the CBI regards the lawful command, framework and assets”.Tragically none of these suggestions was followed upon.

The CBI must be put under an autonomous body. The CBI, Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate are three instruments which the legislature has utilized for political purposes, and the weight they apply is consistently by the method of inaction.

It is also a truth government affects the investigation of CBI. Ruling parties use CBI as a weapon. As long as the Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party in UPA alliance, until then, the CBI investigation against Mulayam Singh and Mayawati Did not get down to the earth.


The Supreme Court uses the term “Caged Parrot” for CBI. If an esteemed agency acts like this, then what will happen to the Justice system. The Image of CBI as a central agency is not so reputed in the country. CBI has no longer been a trusted institution due to government intervention. Few cases, including unmistakable government officials and misusing of several sensitive cases using a Central agency for personal benefit by the ruling party in such a way, is the erosion of democracy. The is a need for improvement and need for reform. There is no provision like unlimited in a democracy, but much power granted to him to investigate the transferred case with independence and without any influence.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Explain about CBI?
  2. Criteria for Appointment of Director of CBI?
  3. What is the Tenure of Director of CBI?
  4. What are the functions of CBI?


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