New Delhi: Close to 1,200 officials working in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)—most of whom are below the rank of Superintendent of Police (SP)—have been identified, provisionally, for removal from service under FR (Fundamental Rule) 56(j) of the Central Civil Services (Pension) rules.

Sources say that the initial list of 1,200 plus officials, who are from the executive and ministerial ranks and have been identified for compulsory retirement from service, will be vetted by the top leadership of the agency before being forwarded to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) for necessary action. These officials, sources said, are in the ranks of upper divisional clerk, lower divisional clerk, inspectors, head constables, constables and deputy superintendents of police.

However, none of the top CBI officials who have a “poor” track record and are facing corruption charges, have been touched while compiling the list, say sources.

As per official numbers, as on April 2017, out of the 5,000 sanctioned staff for executive ranks—which includes the personnel who are engaged in investigation—the CBI was working with 4,010 officials. The sanctioned strength for ministerial staff for the same period was 1,672, out of which 1,372 were actually filled.

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. According to data on 28 February 2017, 1,174 cases are pending investigation with the CBI.

Ever since coming to power in May 2014, the Narendra Modi government has focused on removing “deadwood” officers from the Central government. These officers either have corruption charges or have proved inefficient in their work. The officers who have been removed in the recent past include senior officers from the all powerful and hitherto untouched Indian Revenue Service, Indian Administrative Service and India Police Service.

Between July 2014 and May 2019, 312 officers belonging to Group A and Group B services were compulsorily retired or recommended compulsory retirement from service. These include 125 officers from Group A and 187 from Group B.

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