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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

CBI upgrading its crime manual to tackle economic offences, corruption

The last time the agency changed its crime manual was in July 2005 when US Mishra was its chief. That set of changes was the first overhaul of the procedures in 15 years.

india Updated: Sep 11, 2019 19:57 IST
Neeraj Chauhan
Neeraj Chauhan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A view from outside of the CBI Headquarters. CBI will bring in a new crime manual within a year.
A view from outside of the CBI Headquarters. CBI will bring in a new crime manual within a year. (PTI)
         

The Central Bureau of Investigation said on Wednesday that it is in the process of changing its crime manual in wake of changes in laws including Prevention of Corruption Act, several Supreme Court judgments and new kinds of offences.

A CBI spokesperson confirmed that the crime manual is being changed and the whole process should be completed by end of this year.

The CBI crime manual lists the standard operating procedures for investigations, collection of evidence, protocols for use of technical units, economic and cyber crimes as well as defining the work done by different branches, zones and units. It has different units like Anti-Corruption Branch, Economic Offences Zone, Bank Securities and Fraud Cell, Special Crimes Zone, Cyber Unit, Interpol, prosecution, Central Forensic Science Laboratory.

The last time the agency changed its crime manual was in July 2005 when US Mishra was its chief. That set of changes was the first overhaul of the procedures in 15 years.

A CBI official, who didn’t wish to be quoted, said the latest crime manual will take into consideration changes made by Narendra Modi government in the anti-corruption law which requires the CBI to take prior approval before investigating a government servant. Besides, the CBI also has to fix its internal procedures to proceed against giving bribes that is explicitly punishable in the new-look anti-corruption law. Similarly, there have been changes in banking rules following series of multi-crore scams linked to businessmen such as Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya.

There are also many international investigations in CBI’s kitty now and several wanted persons who fled abroad are being pursued. The officer cited above added that efforts are also being made to increase coordination with different state governments and agencies. “All this will be included in the new crime manual,” said the officer.

The exercise comes months after the agency’s two top officers, former Director Alok Kumar Verma and his number 2, then Special Director Rakesh Asthana, leveled charges of corruption against each other.

The government eventually removed Alok Verma in January this year on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission after he was briefly reinstated by the Supreme Court. Asthana was moved out of agency and is currently Director General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.

First Published: Sep 11, 2019 19:56 IST