The CBI should be empowered on the lines of US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to develop an effective and accountable mechanism to fight the increasing threat of terror attacks in the country, a parliamentary panel has said.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel and Public Grievances is considering a recommendation for making CBI the main coordinating agency to end the confusion between the centre and states in dealing with intelligence inputs.
The committee chairman, Dr E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan, said there was an urgent need to develop a mechanism for internal security with the available agency on the lines of FBI. Though, there was no need to have a new set up for this purpose, as suggested by the Madhav Menon Committee.
He said the panel members were of the view that since there was no classification of crimes in India like the U.S., therefore the practical way forward was to have a single nodal agency to handle the entire issue from intelligence gathering till prosecution and conviction to avoid involvement multiple authorities.
The panel, which would place its report in the budget session, has said as soon as an intelligence input was received, there should be an automatic switchover to a particular agency such as the CBI, to make it accountable in prevention of terror attacks and also in the investigation of cases where an incident has already taken place.
“Presently only the intelligence agencies are under the control of the Centre. All other aspects ranging from preventive measures to post-terror
attack investigations are dealt with by the states and this leads to a slanging match, in case the central agencies are to be involved with investigation at any point”, Natchiappan said. He said the panel felt that in order to remove all ambiguity in terror related matters, “there should be a statute for empowering the CBI with intelligence and investigation. The agency should be involved from the very beginning – it should be a part of preventive measures also”.
“Presently the CBI is used as a tool which is pressed into service after the occurrence of the incident. In some cases, the crucial evidence is wiped out even before the investigating agency takes up the case. It is unfair to expect it to solve cases at a later stage”, the standing committee chairman said.
The panel was studying the proposals from experts and its members for effective coordination between the states machinery and the CBI in dealing with the terror threat.