Special Investing Agencies

The principle guiding for running our nation wisely and efficiently is “Rule of Law”, all our investigation agencies and bodies function and work according to this well-defined legal framework. “Indian Constitution” is termed as Fundamental Law of our country it is the stated as the Supreme Deed of our Independent nation. It is the guide for functioning the “Law Enforcement Machinery” which clears the Doctrines, Powers of Separation, and also explaining the system of rules, principles, and structure of our nation. The constitution is the set of devices that provides us with Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Freedom, that’s why it is also termed as the “Mother “of our laws. The constitutionalism environment has been created in our country through this constitution only. It consists of 395 articles 117,000 words and it took almost three years for drafting it.

Our constitution contains articles that define various powers, responsibilities duties, and functioning of various Special Investigation Agencies which have been laid down under our constitution. The constitution contains fundamental principles which are governing the working of these special investigating agencies so that they must be transparent and corruption-free. The provision which is dealing in respect of investigation and trial in our constitution is Article 20(3). [1]Even different statues clearly define the powers of these special investigating agencies and also laid down various rules based on which they perform their duties and function their powers. In the case of the Investigating agency, there is a proper legal framework which means that it is a group of legal regulations based on which investigation rights are used by these special investigating agencies to investigate the case.

Not only in the constitution but the powers for investigation have also been stated under CrPC, IPC, Evidence Act, etc. These agencies must be transparent, accessible, and accountable to citizens. They must work with the utmost integrity and maintain their reputation of objectivity, professionalism, and demonstrate effectiveness in their duties. These agencies are not independent and final, either it is recommendatory or it is vulnerable to political influences or both. These special investigation agencies are of different types and they all have their mechanism based on which they function these are as follows: Central Bureau of Investigation, The Central Vigilance Commission, and Crime Investigation Department, etc. But these investigating agencies are not Independent, but the country needs a statutory, effective, and independent investigating and prosecuting agency, paid from Consolidated Fund and led by independent professionals.

Introduction

The topmost investigating police agency of India is the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). It is the topmost agency of the Central Government for investigation in respect of different criminal and national security matters. The CBI is the foremost investigating police agency in India. CBI is an elite force that plays an important role in public life and ensuring the health of the national economy. CBI draws its powers from the Special Police Force (SPE). After a few years, it was taken under the Home Ministry of Government of India. CBI is the special agency that takes the responsibility of investigating crimes related to corruption, economic offenses which include frauds, scandals, etc. CBI takes all types of cases but this doesn’t mean that it takes up cases of general routine same as that of the Police force.

It is a kind of watch guard of our nation and also protects national security. The Central Bureau of Investigation which is CBI has its origin from the Special Police Establishment (SPE) which was set up in 1941 by the Government of India. The SPE functions were to investigate the cases of corruption in respect of the War & Supply Department of India during world-war II. After the end of the war, the Central Government need an agency to investigate cases of Public authority and corruption by the Central Government. The power of CBI to investigate cases is derived from the “Delhi Special Police Establishment Act” and this act extends to all India. The CBI is controlled by the Department of Personnel and Training in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances of the Union. The current CBI director is Rishi Kumar Shukla.

The DSPE acquired the name of CBI through a resolution passed by Home Ministry on 4th April 1963. Initially, the offenses in initial days the offenses that were notified by the Central Government were related to corruption. When the large numbers of the public sector were set up the employees of these sectors were also brought under the CBI purview. In the same way the setting up of nationalization of the banks and public sector banks in 1969, their employees were also within the ambit of the CBI. It is an organization of recent origin and it initiates its investigation and the state government can borrow its service for prevention and detection of crime whenever required. The state can use all the data and information which was collected by CBI in respect of the case.

The function and power of the CBI are limited to specific crimes based on the acts especially based on the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. It depends upon five different ministries of the Government of India for its functioning which are:

  1. The Ministry of Home Affairs.
  2. The DoPT for administration
  3. The Union Public Service Commission.
  4. The Law and Justice Ministry for appointing and paying salaries to the public salaries to the public prosecutor.
  5. The Central Vigilance Commission.

Historical Background

During the initial days of world war, the offenses in respect of bribe and corruption were at its peak. It was realized by the British Indian Government that there is a need for an authority that could deal especially with these scandalous offenses. The reason for making these agencies was to deal with these kinds of offenses as the normal law enforcement agencies which include police officers too were not enough to tackle all these situations.

So, in 1941 with the passing of an order, the Special Police Establishment was introduced which could investigate and look into the matter of these scandalous cases. After 3 years from 1941, the special police force was constituted by an ordinance of the government, but in 1946 it got lapsed and was replaced by the new establishment in the year 1946 which was Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. Even the CBI has been taking power from this act only.

After few years it was realized by our central government that there should be a central police agency which could handle all the cases in respect of corruption and other economic offenses which also includes these fraudulent crimes so the draft was introduced on April 1963 regarding it by the Government of India and CBI was set up by the government in respect of it.[2]

Constitution and Jurisdiction of CBI

All the powers and jurisdiction of the CBI constitution to investigate cases flows from the DSPE Act, 1946. The Central Government may constitute a special police force called Delhi Special Police Establishment for the investigation of offenses under section 3. This force has all the power, duties, privileges, and liabilities which police officers have in connection with the investigation of offenses and arrest of persons concerned in such offenses. [3]Any member of the CBI who holds the rank of sub-inspector, based on orders which may be made by the Central Government, they can exercise the powers of officers in charge in a police station and he can also arrest someone under the provisions of CrPC, 1973. Offenses that are investigated by the special police establishment are notified by the central government under section 3. Thus only he notified offenses can be investigated by the CBI.

The extra power provided to the CBI Constitution is that CBI can correspond and demand the information from any ministry department of any state or center government. The information asked by the CBI must be provided to them even though it has not been stated or having any statutory provision providing the CBI with such powers. Even the officers of CBI have also been exempted from the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005 as per the notification passed by the Central Government in the year 2011.

The CBI is controlled by the Senior Inspector General of police which is appointed by the Government of India. CBI is still in a nebulous state, it has established a reputation for impartiality and efficiency. The power and jurisdiction of CBI can be extended by the central government for investigation of any offenses or classes of offenses that are specified under section 3 to any area including railways in a state also as provided by the DSPE Act. The central government has powers to extend the jurisdiction of CBI to any place area that falls within the ambit of the geographical boundaries of our nation.

However, the powers could only be exercised in a state only with the consent of the government of that state only.  The CBI enjoys the respective, state police force concurrent powers for investigation and prosecution as per the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. However, to avoid such duplication of effort, an administrative arrangement has been arrived at with the State Governments according to which:

  1. Cases, which substantially and essentially concern Central Government employees or the affairs of the Central Government, even though involving State Government employees, are to be investigated by the SPE. The state police are, however, kept informed of such cases and will render necessary assistance to the SPE during the investigation;[4]
  2. Cases, which substantially and essentially involve State Government employees or relate to the affairs of a State Government, even though involving certain Central Government employees, are investigated by the state police. The SPE is informed of such cases and it extends assistance to the State Police during the investigation, if necessary. When the investigation made by the state police authorities in such cases involves a Central Government employee, the requests for sanction for prosecution of the competent authority of the Central Government will be routed through the SPE. [5]

Organization and Functions of CBI

It is the multi-disciplinary investigation agency of the government of India and undertakes investigations of corruption-related cases, economic offenses, and conventional crimes. It is also known as the “National Central Bureau” for our country. For the past many years, the CBI has established its reputation concerning impartiality and competence. Firstly it used to take only Corruption and Economic offense cases but later it was demanded to take up investigation of more cases of conventional crimes such as murder, kidnapping, terrorist crime, etc. Apart from this, even the Supreme Court and the various High Courts of the country also started giving the case to CBI for investigation based on a petition filed by the aggrieved party. Nowadays several cases which are falling under this particular category were now 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 Crime Divisions, the latter dealing with cases of conventional crime besides economic offenses. At present CBI has the following divisions: 

  1. Anti-Corruption Division
  2. Economic Offences Division
  3. Special Crimes Division
  4. Directorate of Prosecution.
  5. Administration Division
  6. Policy & Coordination 
  7. Central Forensic Science Laboratory

The CBI also has a  Director which is appointed by the Central Government on the recommendations of a committee comprising of Prime Minister as a Chairperson, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha as a member, and Chief Justice of India or Judge of Supreme Court and they all will nominate him and select. The central Government appoints the Director of Prosecution in CBI on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission as stated under the DSPE Act, 1946. Further, there are Joint Directors, Deputy Inspector also the Superintendents of police and all other ranks police staff. In total there are 5000 staff members and 125 forensic scientists and 250 law officers.

CBI Probe in Sushant Singh Rajput Case

Investigate into complaints alleging corruption and related malpractices or with the crime are taken up by CBI directly or on the recommendation of High Courts or Supreme Courts. Recently as we knew one of the best actor and successful person “Sushant Singh Rajput”, who left the country in shock when the news came that he was dead and it was stated by his friends during a police investigation that the reason for his death is suicide and the actor was facing mental health problems and was facing depression. Even the doctors who did postmortem stated that he has done suicide by hanging himself. But the family of the great actor lodged the fir against Rhea Chakraborty and 5 other for the abetment of suicide and many more offenses. When the Bihar police started an investigation regarding the case they faced a lot of harassment from Maharashtra police.

Even the Maharashtra Government never wanted the CBI probe in this death case. When the case was filled in the Supreme Court regarding re-investigation, the court noted that the Maharashtra police is not conducting the investigation properly and was only conducting a limited inquiry under section 174 of CrPC. Even the Fir was not registered by the Mumbai police regarding this case only Bihar police registered that fir and it was also challenged in the court. There was a situation of conflict between two states government which was arising in the case, as many allegations were raised regarding an unfair investigation by Mumbai police.

So, the Supreme Court orders the CBI probe into the Sushant Singh Rajput case, and the fir which was challenged was also stated as correct. This verdict was pronounced by a single judge bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy and it was also stated by the court that all the cases regarding Sushant Singh Rajput death will be probed by the CBI and both states police shall handover all the evidence and files to CBI. The court stated that “Because both states are making acrimonious allegations of political interference against each other, the legitimacy of the investigation has come under a cloud. This Court (Supreme Court) must strive to ensure that search for the truth is undertaken by an independent agency, not controlled by either of the two-state governments”.[6]

The Supreme Court invoked Article 142 of the Constitution which gives wide power to Supreme Court to pass an order for doing fair and complete justice and in this case, Supreme Court invoked this article to ensure public confidence because this case became a national case due to involvement of large population of our country to seek justice for Sushant Singh Rajput.  [7]Based on Section 6 of Delhi Special Police Establishment, Act the court recommended the case to CBI. The court stated that “His family, friends, and admirers are keenly awaiting the outcome of the investigation so that all the speculations floating around can be put to rest. Therefore a fair, competent and impartial investigation is the need of the hour[8].”

Conclusion

Even being in so many controversies, CBI is still the topmost agency of a country that deals in every case whether it’s criminal or related to economic offenses. CBI is not a legal entity it is only controlled by the government or by the courts only. It should be given proper recognition as it deals in national security matters so that it will undergo structural reforms to work efficiently. CBI is being called as “Caged Parrot” by the Supreme Court, it disappoints people when the CBI is sent for investigation against any superior authority. To gain public confidence CBI needs to have legal, statutory status through legislation as provided to other authorities, an agency of this country.

References

  1. https://www.legitquest.com/case/anil-kumar-v-govt-of-nct-of-delhi-another/7DC03
  2. https://main.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2020/15928/15928_2020_36_1501_23473_Judgement_19-Aug-2020.pdf
  3. http://www.cbi.gov.in/history.php
  4. https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/sushant-singh-rajput-case-sc-orders-cbi-probe-holds-bihar-fir-valid-asks-maharashtra-police-to-assist-161641

[1] The Constitution of India, 1950

[2] Brief History of CBI From CBI web portal

[3] Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946

[4] Anil Kumar v. Gnct of Delhi (LQ 2006 HC 8985)

[5] Anil Kumar v. Gnct of Delhi (LQ 2006 HC 8985)

[6] Rhea Chakraborty v. The State of Bihar & Ors ((2020) 8 ICL 417)

[7] Article 142 of The Constitution of India, 1950

[8] Rhea Chakraborty v. The State of Bihar & Ors ((2020) 8 ICL 417)

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