A severe manpower crunch and a full log of cases may pose a challenge too stiff for the CBI to surmount as the agency prepares to probe the multi-crore Vyapam scam by setting up a special inquiry team, sources said on Friday.
The Supreme Court ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday to probe all cases related to the scandal following a spate of mysterious deaths of people linked to the case but the agency’s resources are spread thin across at least a dozen high-profile inquiries.
“The CBI has a vacancy of 1,142 officers as of July 1, a shortfall of 20% from its sanctioned strength. Roughly two-thirds of the vacancies are investigators who conduct a case probe,” said a source.
“Further, another 10% of the vacancies are of law officers. So, roughly 76% of the existing vacancies are associated with the investigation and trial thereafter; it’s major if one considers the availability of technology tools as well.”
Watch: The A to Z of the Vyapam scam
The agency has over 9,000 cases pending in courts as of 2013 and investigators have their hands full with the Saradha scam (55 cases), the Rs 10,000-crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scheme irregularities’ scam (73 cases), the Rs 45,000-crore Pearls ponzi scam and the coal block allocation scam (45 cases), said the source.
In 2012, the CBI initially refused to accept Ranvir Sena founder Brahmeshwar Singh’s alias Mukhiya’s murder case but eventually took it up, though it is yet to make a breakthrough.
The source said scores of FIRs have been registered in the Vyapam scam with over 2,800 people accused and 500 still on the run.
“We will study the court’s order to assess how many cases would have to be filed, how big a team has to be constituted. Our officers work hard, sometimes on Sundays also but we will ensure the CBI does a quality probe, despite the odds,” he said.