New Delhi: The Supreme Court yesterday passed a slew of directions for the government to expeditiously take steps for overcoming acute shortage of manpower in CBI which is coming its way in its probe into various scams like multi-crore rupee Saradha chitfund spread over many states.
A bench comprising justices T S Thakur and C Nagappan also observed that absence of a comprehensive review of cadre strength ever since CBI was set up was somewhat surprising to say the least.
Referring to the averments and submissions made during the hearing, the bench said it showed that CBI is itself crying for a comprehensive revision of cadre strength.
"We are at a loss to understand why such a revision has not been carried out so far and why should it be left to court to direct a revision which in its very nature is a governmental function in the performance of which there ought to be no deficit," it said.
However, in the directions the bench said, "The central government shall as expeditiously as possible but not later than two months from today take steps for a comprehensive revision of the cadre strength of the CBI established under the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946."
It said that the revision of cadre strength, when ordered, shall be completed within a period of four months from the date government issues the necessary directions.
Further, the bench said, "Pending comprehensive revision of the cadre strength as per above, the central government shall take immediate steps at the appropriate level to fill up the available vacancies within the existing cadre."
"This would imply that the government attends to and processes on urgent basis all proposals currently pending at different levels of the hierarchy to which we have made a reference in the body of this order," it said.
The bench said that West Bengal government shall, as already directed, forward a panel of 12 Dy SPs, eight inspectors, 20 sub-inspectors and 40 constables to enable the CBI to select from out of the said panel, six Dy SPs, four inspectors, 10 sub-inspectors and 20 constables for deputation to CBI.
"The needful shall be done within four weeks if not already done by the government of West Bengal in which case the CBI shall expedite the process of selecting personnel to be taken on deputation to mitigate its current manpower requirement," it said.
CBI had earlier told the bench that currently there were over 700 vacancies at different levels and there has been "no comprehensive revision of cadre" since its inception in 1963.
The court's order came on the interim pleas of CBI on shortfall of police officers to probe the Saradha and other chitfund scam cases, then adjourned the hearing by two weeks.
The bench was hearing the agency's interim application seeking additional manpower from West Bengal police for registration of 265 non-Saradha chit-fund scam cases there.