The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken a series of decisions aimed at speedy disposal of justice. It will henceforth complete the investigation of all cases it takes up within one year. The special CBI courts have also been requested to take no more than two years to dispose of cases that come up before them.
In an exclusive interview to HT, CBI director Ashwini Kumar said he had asked his officers to take recourse to plea bargaining if required, to settle cases quickly.
“We have tried to put in place institutional and logistic arrangements so cases under investigation can be disposed off within a year,” Kumar said. “But we are equally concerned with the quality of investigation. Innovative steps involving systematic changes have been started, with which we have achieved a 70 per cent conviction rate.”
“The government has accepted the proposal to create additional CBI courts. The creation of 71 exclusive courts is an epoch making event in the CBI’s history. The government has agreed to fill 60 vacant posts of prosecutors, taking them on contract. Efforts were being made to fill in other vacant posts as well,” he said.
Kumar said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had taken up the matter of additional CBI courts with chief ministers of different states. “We want to make the new CBI courts functional by the end of 2010,” he said. “They will try to dispose of cases within two years from the date of filing of the charge sheet in the court.
The CBI director said his officers would also resort to withdrawing old cases and allowing plea bargains. "The CBI is open to plea bargaining requests and would encourage this. In addition, we will allow withdrawal of cases when these are old and when the accused are not traceable despite all efforts or when witnesses or records are unavailable.”
The CBI currently has 9000 cases pending in courts. “This is despite having completed investigations within a year in most cases. In a year, we normally take up investigation of 1100 cases and we dispose off an equal number every year too," he said. ’