The CBI on Friday pleaded with the Supreme Court not to burden it with the probe of all the cases where the state machinery has failed and said it should be entrusted with the investigation only in rare and exceptional circumstances.
Challenging a Jharkhand high court order to it to trace out all the missing children in the state, the agency expressed its inability to properly probe all such cases.
"If the said direction of the high court is allowed to stand and be applied in every case where the state machinery has failed to function to the satisfaction of the aggrieved party, the CBI would be flooded with large number of cases and it would be impossible to properly investigate all of them," Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra told a bench headed by Justice DK Jain.
The high court on October 18 last year had directed the agency to probe all cases of missing children in the state.
The high court had passed the order on a plea by a woman, Susanna Kispotta, for a probe into the case of her two missing nephews.
The court, however, had expanded the ambit of the plea and ordered CBI probe into all cases of missing children of the state.
Kispotta's two nephews, aged four and eight had gone missing in 2010 regarding which an FIR had been lodged with the state police on September 28, 2010.
Agreeing to hear the agency's plea, the apex court issued notice to the Kispotta on whose plea the high court had passed the order.
The Supreme Court earlier on August 16 had issued notice to the Centre and all the state governments on a PIL seeking its direction to them for tracing 55,000 missing children in the country.