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CBI Functioning

GS-2 Mains : Govt. Organisation 

Revision Notes

Question : Analyze the functioning of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in India .Discuss the recent issues surrounding CBI’s jurisdiction and the challenges it faces in carrying out its investigative duties. Suggest measures to address the issues and enhance the effectiveness of CBI’s functioning.

Key Facts:

  • Established: 1963 (based on Santhanam Committee recommendations)
  • Ministry: Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances
  • Legal Basis: Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946


  • Investigate serious crimes related to:
    • Defense of India
    • Corruption in high places
    • Serious fraud/cheating/embezzlement
    • Social crimes (hoarding, black marketing)
    • National security
    • Drugs & Narcotics
  • Coordinate investigations for Interpol member countries


  • DSPE Act grants investigative power.
  • Section 2: Authority to investigate in Union Territories only.
  • Section 5(1): Central Government can extend jurisdiction with State consent (Section 6).

Recent Issue:

  • Supreme Court rejected Centre’s claim of no control over CBI.
  • West Bengal challenged Centre’s use of CBI despite withdrawal of general consent for CBI investigations in the state.

CBI Consent Types

  • Two types of consent for CBI investigations:
    • General Consent: State grants permission for CBI to operate freely within its borders on all cases.
    • Specific Consent: CBI needs case-by-case approval from the state government for investigation.

Issues in CBI Functioning

  • Legislative Problems: Delays or denials in obtaining state consent for investigations. (2013 Supreme Court case)
  • Political Issues: Allegations of government interference in CBI investigations (e.g., Coal Block allocation case, 2013).
  • Transparency Issues: CBI exempt from Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
  • Overlapping Functions: Jurisdictional conflicts with Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and Lokpal.

Way Forward

  • Clear definition of CBI’s role, jurisdiction, and legal powers.
  • New legislation to govern CBI functioning (as suggested by Second Administrative Reforms Commission, 2007).
  • Strengthening CBI through legal mandate, infrastructure, and resources (as recommended by Parliamentary Standing Committees, 2007 & 2008).

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/who-sends-the-cbi-to-states-to-investigate-sc-asks-centre/article68153294.ece#:~:text=The%20Supreme%20Court%20on%20Wednesday,to%20S

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