Despite recommendations from various parliamentary panels over the years to strengthen and nurture the CBI's own cadre of officers, the country's premier investigation agency still relies heavily on the route of deputation to fill vacancies.
The situation has left the already dwindling crop of CBI officers directly recruited in the rank of deputy superintendent of police (DSP) to believe that it is not getting better promotional avenues and pay scales. Besides the DSPs, the directly recruited sub-inspectors and inspectors also feel that officers who come on deputation to the CBI get promotions faster.
Over the years, the CBI has been recruiting constables, sub-inspectors and DSPs. All other vacancies in the CBI are filled through deputation by IPS officers in the rank of superintendent of police (SP) and above or mostly by paramilitary police in lower ranks of sub-inspectors and inspectors. The agency now plans to recruit directly in the ranks of constable and sub-inspector. It has decided to stop recruiting at the level of DSP. Rest of the posts will filled by deputation. But this reliance on deputation is contrary to what various parliamentary panels have been recommending over the years.
"Even in March 1969, the Estimates Committee of the fourth Lok Sabha in its 78th report said in the CBI, the percentage of posts filled by deputation varied from 30% to 100% in case of sub-inspectors and directors/additional directors, respectively. The panel recommended that percentage of deputation posts must be reviewed every three to five years and the deputation period of officers should not be extended for unduly long periods," said an officer of the agency who didn't wish to be named. He was directly recruited as a DSP in the agency.
According to sources, rather than strengthening the CBI cadre, the government has gone a step further and changed the service conditions to the already disadvantaged directly recruited officers. Earlier, the directly recruited DSPs were part of Group-B service and they would get promoted as SPs after eight years. They could get the rank of deputy inspector-general after 16 years and the rank of joint directors after 24 years. But when these directly recruited DSPs were upgraded as Group-A service, instead of improving their promotional prospects, the department worsened them. Now the directly recruited Group A DSP in the CBI can get promoted as the SP after 12 years, DIG after 21 years, and joint directors after 25 years.
"Stagnation in growth has already resulted in more than 15 officers recruited as DSPs resigning from service and taking up jobs in the private sector for better career opportunities," said an agency official.