Amid 20% personnel shortages, CBI chief warns of 'collapse'
Appearing before a Parliamentary Committee, Sinha cited the increase in the number of cases referred to CBI by Supreme Court and High Courts and said the agency's capacity for investigation was around 700 cases a year which has now almost doubled, necessitating more officers to supervise probes.
As per the submission made by the agency, a total of 1,200 cases and "62 foreign investigations" were pending. Of the total pending cases, 31 are pending for over three years.
A total of 1,531 posts were vacant in CBI as against its sanctioned strength of 7,274, as per the agency's latest data.
Following the submission, the panel has asked the government to complete cadre review in the agency by June-end.
While deposing before the Committee, the Director, CBI, proposed to provide longer tenure to officers on deputation in the agency from the state and other central forces in addition to other steps taken to manage vacancies, said the report of Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, tabled in Parliament today.
"He, therefore, expressed that unless state governments provide the manpower by way of sending more of their personnel on deputation to the CBI, a time could come that CBI would collapse and fail," it said.
The Committee expressed deep concern on the state of affairs relating to the vacant positions in CBI.
"It, therefore, impresses upon the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to complete the exercise of cadre review by June 30, 2016, as per the direction of the Supreme Court to deal with the vacancies in the establishment.
"The Committee is apprehensive that unless the present malady of massive vacancy is corrected immediately, the very purpose of establishment of the CBI would be eroded and its credibility tarnished," the report said.
At this juncture when the country envisaged the premier investigating agency to be on par with their international counterparts, result-oriented and equipped to combat the challenges of international pressures of transnational terrorism, cyber crimes and corruption, the Committee said it is disheartened that CBI is crippled with a very basic requirement - shortage of manpower.
"With cases being referred by states and courts to CBI for investigation, the Committee acknowledges the burden of load bestowed upon it. However, it is of the concerted view that CBI turn to the state or other central forces to plug the vacancy in its establishment.
"It, therefore, desires that the CBI manage its cadre more efficiently and DoPT should take holistic steps to hasten the part of recruitment in consultation with the Union Public Service Commission," said the report on Demands for Grants (2016-17) of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
Referring to its earlier report, the panel suggested enactment of an Act for the agency to ensure its hassle-free working.
Keeping in view the high pendency of cases with CBI and especially those of foreign probes which have a direct bearing on the country's credibility, the Committee recommended that activities of the Centre be expanded to provide a continuous in-service training to CBI personnel to hone their skills and expertise of those engaged in investigation.
"The Committee further recommends that, if need be, more funds for the purpose may be made available to CBI," the report said.