The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court expressed concern that several cases handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) ended in acquittal while challenging the recruitment methods adopted by the investigation agency.
The Division Bench of Justice N. Kirubakaran and Jutsice B. Pugalendhi observed on Tuesday that the time has come to look into problems faced by the CBI and its investigation needs to be improved by adding experts and modern gadgets.
The case involves a financial scam involving the failure to return about Rs 300 crore in deposits. A plea was filed praying that the matter be referred to the CBI. The Bench has urged the Economic Offences Wing to carry out its investigation swiftly and file a charge sheet at the earliest.
The Court opined that the CBI cannot rely on deputations when it is investigating serious white-collar crimes, as deputed officers from the State Police/CISF/CRPF may not be appropriately trained to handle such cases.
The Court further noted that, through its own recruitment process, specially trained officers should be recruited by the CBI in order to live up to its name as a premier investigating agency.
The Court remarked, “The CBI should have separate recruitment, they should be experts in crime investigations. Deputations are not enough. That is why all the important cases handed over to the CBI ends in acquittal.”
The Court ordered the Centre to respond to different queries, including the following:
• Does CBI recruit its employees specifically for its investigation team independently or through an agency?
• What is the CBI’s strength, particularly its investigation team?
• Why not raise the number of investigating officers, as more cases are referred to the CBI?
• Why not the CBI recruit candidates with expertise such as CA, ICWA, ACF, etc. Are they concerned with cases of bank fraud?
• In the last 20 years, how many cases have been referred to the CBI?
• What is the status of the cases there?
• How many cases have resulted in conviction/acquittal?
• What is the conviction rate?
• Why not raise the source of capital to CBI as it is seen that there are not ample resources for CBI?
The next date of hearing is December 14.