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Chennai High Court.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation to transfer a case of cheating by a finance company probed by Tamil Nadu Police to the central agency, the court's Madurai bench on Tuesday said: "Only when the CBI is given a statutory status, (would) the autonomy of CBI would be ensured. Secondly it should have a dedicated cadre of officers on its own without getting the officials on deputation.

"The CBI should have an autonomy as that of Comptroller and Auditor General of India, who is only accountable to Parliament."

The court also said that the CBI Director should be vested with ex-officio powers of the Secretary to the Government of India, reporting directly to the Ministry without having to go through the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

Pointing out that the Supreme Court and the High Courts entrust the CBI with investigation of cases without the consent of the states, the court ordered that the Centre consider and take a decision for enactment of a separate Act giving statutory status with more powers and jurisdiction to the CBI at the earliest.

It also sought that the CBI shall be made more independent like the Election Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, and a separate budgetary allocation shall be made for the agency.


Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Wikimedia www.newsgram.com



The CBI Director shall be given powers as that of the Secretary to the Government and shall directly report to the Minister/Prime Minister without going through the DoPT, the Centre shall make the CBI independent with functional autonomy without administrative control of the government, the Central Forensic Science Laboratory shall have more modern facilities and should be augmented on par with the facilities available to the US' Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the UK's Scotland Yard, it added.

The court asked the DoPT to pass orders on the CBI restructuring letter dated September 9, 2020 after consulting with other departments, if necessary, within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.

It said that the CBI should file a well thought out policy within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order, for permanently recruiting (i) cyber forensic experts and (ii) financial audit experts, so that all the branches/wings of the CBI should have these experts available with them and not on case to case basis.

Keywords: Madras court, CBI, supreme court, legal system


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