Shortage of staff in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has led to an increase in the number of pending cases which the agency is investigating. 

As per the latest numbers, the CBI is functioning with only 5,868 employees, in contrast to its sanctioned strength of 7,274 officers and staff in various ranks. There are close to 800 vacancies in the executive ranks, a shortage of approximately 100 law officers and 90 technical and 90 officers.

This staff shortage has led to an increase in pendency of the cases that are being investigated by the agency. In the latest data shared by the government, 1,174 cases are pending for investigation with the agency.

Out of these, 157 cases are pending for more than two years, 36 cases are pending for more than five years, six cases are pending for more than 10 years and two cases are pending for more than 15 years. The remaining cases are at various levels of investigation and are “relatively new”, CBI sources said.

“Even if the existing vacancies are filled, then also we will not be able to make much impact as we are getting close to 250 new cases every year, which have been botched up by different state police or require meticulous investigation that cannot be completed in a jiffy. The government should look towards increasing the number of sanctioned staff by at least 40%. Secondly, the state government and the courts too should not see the CBI as just another investigative agency and transfer each and every case to us, either due to emotive or political reasons. This leads to piling up of cases and we are forced to distribute our already scarce resource,” a senior agency official said.

As per government data, 791 cases were referred to the CBI between June 2014 and June 2017, which roughly means, the agency was given 260 new cases every year. Out of these, 207 were handed over to the CBI in 2014, 326 in 2015, 151 in 2016 and 107 between January and June this year.

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