Central Bureau of Investigation

The CBI is a multidisciplinary investigation agency of the Government of India and undertakes investigation of corruption- related cases, economic offences and cases of conventional crime. It normally confines its activities in the anti-corruption field to offences committed by the employees of the Central Government and Union Territories and their public sector undertakings. It takes up investigation of conventional crimes like murder, kidnapping, rape etc., on reference from the state governments or when directed by the Supreme Court/High Courts.


Some High-Profile cases investigated by CBI:

Vijay Mallya case, Saradha Chit Fund case, Moin Qureshi case, Harshad Mehta scam case, 2G Spectrum case, Aarushi Talwar murder case, Punjab National Bank scam, DLF scam against Vadra, Coal scam, Bofors scam etc.

Events behind establishment of CBI:

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was set up in 1963 by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Later, it was transferred to the Ministry of Personnel and now it enjoys the status of an attached office. The Special Police Establishment setup in 1941 was also merged with the CBI.
The establishment of the CBI was recommended by the Santhanam Committee. The CBI is not a statutory body. It derives its powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
The CBI is the main investigating agency of the Central Government. It plays an important role in the prevention of corruption and maintaining integrity in administration. It also provides assistance to the Central Vigilance Commission and Lokpal. CBI investigates crime of corruption, economic offences and serious and organized crime other than terrorism.

Motto of CBI:

Motto: Industry, Impartiality and Integrity
Mission: To uphold the Constitution of India and law of the land through in-depth investigation and successful prosecution of offences; to provide leadership and direction to police forces and to act as the nodal agency for enhancing inter-state and international cooperation in law enforcement agencies.

Divisions of CBI:

Originally (1963), the CBI was set up with the following six divisions:

  1. Investigation and Anti-Corruption Division (Delhi Special Police Establishment)
  2. Technical Division
  3. Crime Records and Statistics Division
  4. Research Division
  5. Legal and General Division
  6. Administration Division

At present, the CBI has the following seven divisions:

  1. Anti-Corruption Division
  2. Economic Offences Division
  3. Special Crimes Division
  4. Policy and Coordination Division
  5. Administration Division
  6. Directorate of Prosecution
  7. Central Forensic Science Laboratory.
  8. Vision of CBI:

    Based on its motto, mission and the need to develop professionalism, transpar- ency, adaptability to change and use of science and technology in its working, the CBI will focus on:
    • Combating corruption in public life, curbing economic and violent crimes through meticulous investigation and prosecution.
    • Evolving effective systems and procedures for successful investigation and prosecution of cases in various law courts 3. Helping fight cyber and high technology crime.
    • Creating a healthy work environment that encourages team-building, free communication and mutual trust.
    • Supporting state police organisations and law enforcement agencies in national and international cooperation, particularly relating to enquiries and investigation of cases.
    • Playing a lead role in the war against national and transnational organised crime.
    • Upholding human rights, protecting the environment, arts, antiques and heritage of our civilization.
    • Developing a scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
    • Striving for excellence and professional- ism in all spheres of functioning so that the organisation rises to high levels of endeavor and achievement.

    Composition of CBI

    The CBI is headed by a Director. He is assisted by a special director or an additional director. Also there are joint directors, deputy inspector generals, superintendents of police and all other usual ranks of police personnel. In total, it has about 5000 staff members, about 125 forensic scientists and about 250 law officers.
    The Director of CBI has been provided security of two-year tenure in office by the CVC Act, 2003.
    The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act (2013) amended the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (1946) and made the following changes with respect to the composition of the CBI:
    1. The Central Government shall appoint the Director of CBI on the recommendation of a three-member committee.
    2. There shall be a Directorate of prosecution headed by a Director for conducting the prosecution of cases under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.

    Functions of CBI

    1. Investigating cases of corruption, bribery and misconduct of Central government employees.
    2. Investigating cases relating to infringement of fiscal and economic laws, breach of laws concerning export and import control, customs and central excise, income tax, foreign exchange regulations and so on.
    3. Investigating serious crimes, having national and international ramifications, committed by organised gangs of professional criminals.
    4. Coordinating the activities of the anticorruption agencies and the various state police forces.
    5. Taking up any case of public importance for investigation on the request of a state government,
    6. Maintaining crime statistics and disseminating criminal information.

    Provision of Prior Permission:

    The CBI is required to obtain the prior approval of the Central Government before conducting any inquiry or investigation into an offence committed by officers of the rank joint secretary and above in the Central Government and its authorities.
    However, on May 6, 2014, a Constitutional bench of Supreme Court held that Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, which granted protection to joint secretary and above officers from facing even a preliminary inquiry by the CBI in corruption cases, was violative of Article 14.
    Observing that there could not be any protection to corrupt public servants, the Bench said, "The aim and object of investigation is ultimately to search for truth and any law that impedes that object may not stand the test of Article 14. Breach of rule of law, in our opinion, amounts to negation of equality under Article 14 and Section 6-A fails in the context of these facets of Article 14."


    The role of the Special Police Establishment (a division of CBI) is supplementary to that of the state police forces. Along with state police forces, the Special Police Establishment (SPE) enjoys the concurrent powers of investigation and prosecution for offences under the Delhi Police Establishment Act, 1946. However, to avoid duplication and overlapping of cases between these two agencies, the following administrative arrangements have been made:

    • The SPE shall take up such cases which are essentially and substantially concerned with the Central Government's affairs or employees, even if they also involve certain state government employees.
    • The state police force shall take up such cases which are substantially concerned with the state government's affairs or employees, even if they also involve certain Central Government employees.
    • The SPE shall also take up cases against employees of public undertakings or statutory bodies established and financed by the Central Government.


    The CBI Academy is located at Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh and started functioning in 1996. Earlier, training programmes were being conducted at the CBI Training Centre, New Delhi.
    The vision of the CBI Academy is "Excellence in Training in the Fields of Crime Investigation, Prosecution and Vigilance Functioning" and its mission is to train the human resources of CBI, state police and the vigilance organisations to become professional, industrious, impartial, upright and dedicated to the service of the nation.
    Beside the CBI Academy at Ghaziabad, there are three regional training centres imparting training at regional levels at Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai.

    kinds of training courses

    which are being conducted in the CBI Academy:
    (i) Short Term In-service Courses: For officers of the CBI, state police, central paramilitary forces and central government undertakings
    (ii) Long Term Basic Courses: For directly recruited deputy superintendents of police, sub-inspectors and constables of CBI.

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