IBC Code: Complete Overview and Drafting Workshop. Register Now!
LCI Learning

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Share on Email

Share More


India's top investigative police force is the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The Central Vigilance Commission and Lokpal are helped by it. The Department of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances, Government of India, which is a division of the prime minister's office, is in charge of overseeing its operations. However, the Central Vigilance Commission is in charge of overseeing investigations into offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Additionally, it is the nodal police organisation in India that organises inquiries on behalf of Interpol Member nations. It is similar to the best investigation organisations in the world in terms of conviction rates, which can reach 65 to 70%.

CBI Constitution:

According to the CBI Constitution, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was initially imagined in 1941 by the Indian government as the Special Police Establishment.

The primary motivation for founding this institution was the awareness that the enormous sums of money spent by the government on the war had produced a situation that permitted both official and non-official individuals to profit, at the expense of the Indian government and the economy.

Since these governmental entities, the police, were unable to adequately investigate crimes involving government officials, it was clear that they were not equipped to handle such issues. The establishment of a new, independent institution that would only concentrate on the widespread corruption and bribery charges that gave rise to the CBI Constitution was therefore justified by the current situation.

Organization of the CBI

The Delhi Special Police Establishment was transformed into one of the CBI's branches and given the name "Investigation and Anti-Corruption Division" after the CBI Constitution.

A Superintendent of Police oversaw each of the DSPE's more than 14 branches at the time. The Fraud Squad and the Central Investigating Agency (CIA) were two further branches. Despite the fact that each of these branches had offices in Delhi, their legal authority covered the entire nation.

The task of gathering crucial information about cases of corruption and bribery fell to the Central Investigating Agency. This team was typically called in to handle complex issues that called for specific knowledge and abilities.

The Fraud Squad primarily handles instances of dishonesty, fraud, and other wrongdoing involving public servants. Later, the scope of its authority was extended to include looking into major violations of the 1956 Companies Act involving Joint Stock Companies.

Power of CBI to handle types of cases:

The current sections of the CBI Constitution that deal with the various offences that the CBI now examines are as follows:

Anti-Corruption Division:

The Anti-Corruption Division is in charge of gathering data about instances of bribery and corruption as well as tasks pertaining to anti-corruption measures. They look into instances involving both public employees working for state governments and those employed by the central government, both of which fall within the purview of the CBI.

Special Crimes Division:

The CBI's Special Crimes Division looks into cases involving a wide range of crimes and offences, including murders, kidnappings, rapes, cheating, and other crimes committed by organised criminal families and gangs that constitute a serious threat to public safety and tranquilly. Other IPC offences as well as offences under local and special laws made known under the DSPE Act are also investigated and prosecuted by CBI.

Economic Offenses Division: 

On April 29, 1963, the CBI established this division. It addresses a number of economic offences that are listed in section 3 of the DSPE Act. Serious frauds in banks, stock exchanges, joint stock companies, public limited companies, and other institutions are among these offences.

Directorate of Prosecution:

The Directorate of Prosecution is responsible for handling the legal actions against suspects who have been detained by other divisions. Its duties include managing and overseeing court matters that are awaiting trial, appeal, and modification.

Division of Policy and Coordination: 

The Policy Division is responsible for all issues relating to policy, procedure, organisation, vigilance, and security. Other significant roles include communicating with ministries, spreading awareness, and putting particular programmes involving vigilance and security in the CBI into action.

Central Forensic Laboratory:

The Central Forensic Laboratory is part of this division, which provides forensic science support for both police and CBI officers conducting investigations.

Legal Powers under the Constitution:

The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, gives the CBI the authority and the jurisdiction to look into a variety of issues.

The Act's provisions list the obligations, privileges, and liabilities that may be imposed on officers working for the Central Bureau of Investigation in addition to discussing the authority's authority and jurisdiction.

The CBI has concurrent and co-extensive authority to conduct the investigations into the offences listed in Section 3 of the DSPE Act. Furthermore, subject to the approval of the state in question, the Central Government may expand the CBI's authority to any area—aside from union territories—that is located within the nation's borders (Section 6 of the DSPE Act).

Activities of CBI

  • investigating instances of bribery, corruption, and improper behaviour by Central government personnel
  • investigating instances of violations of fiscal and economic laws, such as those relating to income tax, foreign exchange rules, customs and central excise, export and import control, and other laws.However, these instances are handled either after consultation with the relevant department or at their request.
  • investigating heinous crimes committed by professional gangs of organised criminals that have a national and worldwide impact.
  • coordinating the efforts of the various state police forces and the anti-corruption organisations.
  • investigating any case of public concern that is requested by a state government.
  • keeping track of crime data and sharing criminal information.

The CBI is a multidisciplinary investigative unit of the Indian government that looks into cases of conventional crime, economic offences, and cases involving corruption.

Typically, it restricts its anti-corruption efforts to crimes committed by personnel working for the Central Government, Union Territories, and their public sector enterprises.

It investigates traditional crimes like murder, kidnapping, rape, and other similar offences when referred to it by state governments or when ordered to do so by the Supreme Court or other high courts.

In India, the CBI serves as Interpol's "National Central Bureau." Requests for investigation-related operations coming from Indian law enforcement agencies and Interpol member nations are coordinated by the CBI's Interpol Wing.

Limited area of investigation for CBI

Despite having the authority to look into all crimes because Law and Order is a State concern and the Delhi Special Police Establishment as its source of authority, the CBI is only able to look into and intervene in a limited number of specific cases due to resource constraints. The issues might relate to:

  • cases involving workers of the Central Government.
  • cases concerning monetary interests of the Central Government.
  • when the State Government requests CBI assistance from the Central Government.
  • when the CBI is mandated by the Supreme Court to participate in investigations.
  • cases involving multiple government entities and having national and international repercussions.
  • When the Central Government publishes a notification under Section 5 of the DSPE Act and the State Government notifies the other under Section 6 of the DSPE Act, etc.


Through the years, the CBI has proven its expertise and earned a reputation for objectivity by resolving cases including terrorism, corruption, etc. The CBI has also been given credit by the courts for being a pioneering organisation and for investigating significant cases. Due to CBI's diligence and reputation for making no mistakes, the investigation and conclusions are typically not contested

"Loved reading this piece by Dikshita More ?
Join LAWyersClubIndia's network for daily News Updates, Judgment Summaries, Articles, Forum Threads, Online Law Courses, and MUCH MORE!!"

Tags :

Category Others, Other Articles by - Dikshita More  


Post a Suggestion for LCI Team
Post a Legal Query