CBI faces shortage of field investigators, officers amid heavy workload
Nearly 20% shortfall across ranks leaves investigators stretched; a report says more officers are required to supervise investigation as the CBI is handling almost twice more than its capacity of not more than 700 cases a year.india Updated: Oct 02, 2017 08:23 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is reeling from a shortage of supervisory officers and field investigators as latest data from the India’s premier investigating agency says over 20% of posts in all ranks are vacant.
The agency has one additional director against four sanctioned posts and 11 joint directors, the third highest of rank in the hierarchy, when there should be 18. Most joint directors are holding one or two additional charges.
The situation could worsen when two joint directors leave at the end of their tenure in two months.
The CBI declined to comment on the manpower crunch that could affect cases it is investigating. The agency gets around 1,100 cases every year, which is far more than its capacity of about 700.
The CBI recruits constables and sub-inspectors but relies on officers on deputation from central forces or state police for the rest of the positions. For senior ranks such as police superintendent and above, the CBI mostly hires IPS officers on deputation.
These officers serve the agency for five to seven years.
The CBI director flagged the manpower shortage before the parliamentary standing committee for the ministry of personnel, under which the agency functions administratively, in a report last April.
Pitching for adequate staff, the chief “proposed to provide longer tenure to officers on deputation in the CBI from the state and central forces in addition to steps to manage vacancies”.
The report says more officers are required to supervise investigation as the CBI is handling almost twice more than its capacity of not more than 700 cases a year.
Unless more personnel are made available the CBI would collapse and fall, the committee was told.
In another report in 2015, the committee feared that the situation could affect the quality of investigation.
“On the one hand, the number of investigations being entrusted to the CBI is rising. On the other hand, there is acute staff crunch,” the panel wrote.
The CBI had 4,544 sanctioned executive rank posts and 672 vacancies on January 1, 2015. According to data till this April, the agency has 990 vacancies against an ideal strength of 5,000 in executive ranks — officers involved in field investigation.
The figures show vacancies have shot up concurrently with the rise in sanctioned posts. The CBI declined to give data till September.
Former CBI man NR Wasan suggested the CBI hiring more deputy superintendents, inspectors and sub-inspectors from state police forces on deputation to stem the tide.
“They come with huge investigation experience,” he said and advised against focusing on the paramilitary forces as their staff don’t get cases to investigate.
“But to attract officers from state police, the CBI will have to offer more perks,” said Wasan, who served the agency for 18 years before retiring as chief of the Bureau of Police Research and Development.
According to him, he suggested during CBI stint that the Centre should pay salaries to a “fixed number” of inspectors or sub-inspectors in each state. The states will then be willing to let go these officers on deputation to the CBI.
The agency has been hiring for the past two years inspector-raked officers on a yearly contract to overcome the shortage.