Context: The Central government promulgated ordinances to give a five-year tenure to heads of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). 

Amendment in Acts - 

  • Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (1946)- amendment was made under this act to change the tenure of CBI director
  • Central Vigilance Commission Act (2003)- by amending this act changes were brought to tenure of ED  director
  • Fundamental Rules, 1922 
    • Fundamental rules are  guiding principles applicable to all public servants and cover the full range of their in-service and post-retirement work scenarios.
    • It prohibits the extension of service to any public servant beyond the retirement age of 60 years, except a few, including the Secretary to the Cabinet, those engaged in budget-related work. , eminent scientists, the Cabinet Secretary, the heads of the IB and RAW in addition to the director of the CBI, among others with certain conditions.
    • Amendment was made in rules to bring them in sync with amendments to Delhi Special Police Establishment Act and Central Vigilance Commission Act 

Key provisions

  • Earlier media CBI director could be appointed for two years, now the ordinance extends it to three more years thus a total of 5 years tenure. However, no extension can be given after 5 years
  • The original fundamental  Rule 56(d) included top functionaries like home secretary ,defence secretary, foreign secretary chief of intelligence Bureau and research and analysis wing whose term could be extended by government to maximum of two years and beyond
  • The amendment to the rule mentions directors of ED as well as CBI along with defence secretary, home secretary ,director of Intelligence Bureau and R&AW secretary

Pros of the ordinances 

  • A two-year tenure for a CBI head is too short for any officer to make an impact on the organisation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation chief in the U.S. gets a 10-year term. 
    • 5 year tenure provides them the much-needed continuity that a Director needs in an outfit charged with the task of conducting highly sensitive investigations, which sometimes impinge on the longevity and stability of a democratically elected government.
  • Better Investigation of cases- the director will have an opportunity to pursue cases longer and thus can help in taking logical conclusions.
  • Transparency in extension- All extensions will have to be approved by the PM-led committee where the Chief Justice of India  and Leader of Opposition will also have an opinion

Cons of the ordinance:

  • One-Year extensions: At the end of the mandatory two-year tenure, the government will have to issue orders granting one-year extensions at a time. 
    • It would have been better if there was a straight five-year term for the Director. 
    • The rule about three annual extensions can be misused by a tendentious government. 
    • It may be construed as a reward for an obliging Director.
  • Promulgation of ordinances- Article 123 of Indian constitution allows centre and state governments to frame loss through ordinance making however, constitution makers envisaged a much restrained use of this practice.
  • DC Wadhwa Case (1986)- the Supreme court clarified that Power to promulgate ordinance is essentially a party to meet an extraordinary situation and should not be perverted to serve political ends

Challenges for autonomy of CBI

  • Dependence on State governments: Successive chiefs have suggested the drafting of a CBI Act to ensure that the organisation is not dependent on the State governments, many of which have withdrawn consent for the CBI to function in that State. 

    • The Supreme Court has recently made references to this objectionable development. 
    • Eight States — West Bengal, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram — have withdrawn the general consent. 
  • The government is sometimes arbitrary in choosing the Director. It is not rare to see temporary appointments given to favour some individuals. Seniority was often ignored in appointments and Directors were removed frequently. 

Need for an independent CBI

  • Vineet Narain Case (1997)- in the landmark judgement the supreme Court held that the agencies need permanent insulation against external influence and down a dictum that directors of CBI & ED should have a minimum tenure of two years.
  • Any dishonest interference in the working of the organisation interrupts straightforward investigations. The government will therefore have to show enormous restraint in its interactions with the head of the CBI.
  • As a measure of accountability, the Director will have to keep the government informed of all major administrative decisions. 
  • He or she should inform the executive but not take orders from it.

The CBI should be made to derive its authority for launching investigations from its own statute instead of depending on the Criminal Procedure Code, which makes the CBI a police organisation. Apt analogies are the Income Tax Act and the Customs Act, which enable the officers of the two departments to act on their own.

Director of CBI

  • The CBI is headed by a Director.
  • The Director of CBI as Inspector General of Police, Delhi Special Police Establishment, is responsible for the administration of the organisation.
  • The Director of the CBI is appointed as per section 4A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act of 1946.
  • He/she may not be transferred except with the previous consent of the high-level committee. 
  • The Director of CBI has been provided security of two-year tenure in office by the CVC Act, 2003 (Vineet Narain Case). 
  • The CVC Act also provides the mechanism for the selection of the Director of CBI and other officers of the rank of SP and above in the CBI.
  • CBI appointments are guided more by the Vineet Narain judgment, the CVC Act and the Lokpal Act.

Appointment of CBI Director

  • The Director of CBI has been provided security of two-year tenure in office by the CVC Act, 2003 (Vineet Narain Case).
  • The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act (2013) amended the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (1946) and made the following changes with respect to appointment of the Director of CBI:
    • According to the said section, a CBI director shall be appointed by the central government on the recommendation of a committee consisting of: 
    • The Prime Minister as its chairperson; 
    • The Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha/leader of the single largest opposition party in Lok Sabha; and 
    • The Chief Justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court nominated by the CJI — the latter two as committee members. 
  • Further, the committee is required to recommend a panel of officers on the basis of seniority, integrity and experience in the investigation of anti-corruption cases,chosen from amongst officers belonging to the Indian Police Service constituted under the All-India Services Act, for being considered for appointment as CBI Director.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) 

  • It owes its origin to the Special Police Establishment (SPE), which was established by the colonial government in 1941 through an executive order to deal with corruption involving war-time purchases and supplies. 
  • In 1946, the then government enacted the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act to give the organisation a statutory cover.
  • Later, based on the recommendations of the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption, CBI was established by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Later, it was transferred to the Ministry of Personnel.
  • 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 works under the overall superintendence of Central Vigilance Commission in matters related to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  • As on date, the CBI has jurisdiction to investigate offences pertaining to 69 Central laws, 18 State Acts and 231 offences in the IPC. 

Source: Click Here

Some Important Links:


NCERT Course 2022-2023

GS Foundation 1year, 2 years and 3 Years Course

Anthropology Foundation (Optional Course) For UPSC CSE 2021-22

Geography Foundation (Optional Course) For UPSC CSE 2021-22

Join our Telegram Channel:   https://t.me/JVIAS10

For more queries call us: +91- 8882932364