History of CBI

34. It is useful to refer at this stage to the history of the CBI. The Special Police Establishment was formed during the World War II when large sums of public money were being spent in connection with the War and there arose enormous potential for corruption amongst the officers dealing with the supplies. An executive order was made by the Government of India in 1941 setting up the Special Police Establishment (SPE) under a DIG in the then Department of War. The need for a central government agency to investigate cases of bribery and corruption by the Central Government servants continued and, therefore, the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act was brought into force in 1946. Under this Act, the superintendence of the Special Police Establishment was transferred to the Home Department and its functions were enlarged to cover all departments of the Government of India. The jurisdiction of the SPE extended to all the Union Territories and could also be extended to the States with the consent of the concerned State Governments. Then the SPE was put under the charge of Director, Intelligence Bureau. Later in 1948 a post of Inspector General of Police, SPE was created and the organisation was placed under his charge. The Central Bureau of Investigation was established on 1.4.1963 vide Government of India’s Resolution No. 4/31/61-T/MHA. This was done to meet the felt need of having a central police agency at the disposal of the Central Government to investigate into cases not only of bribery and corruption but also those relating to the breach of central fiscal laws, frauds in government departments and PSUs and other serious crimes. On enlargement of the role of CBI and Economic Offences Wing was added to the existing Divisions of the CBI. In 1987 two Divisions were created in the CBI known as Anti-Corruption Division and Special Crimes Division, the latter dealing with cases of conventional crimes besides economic offences. In 1994 due to increased workload relating to bank frauds and economic offences a separate Economic Offences Wing was established in CBI with the result that since then the CBI has three Investigation Divisions, namely, Anti-Corruption Division, Special Crimes Division and Economic Offences Division. Further particulars thereof are not necessary in the present context.

35. We are informed that almost all the State Governments have given concurrence for extension of the jurisdiction of the Delhi Special Police Establishment in the States with the exception of only a few. The result is that for all practical purposes, the jurisdiction in respect of all such offences is exercised in the consenting States only by the CBI and not by the Slate Police. This is the significance of the role of the CBI in such matters and, therefore, technically the additional jurisdiction under the general law of the State Police in these matters is of no practical relevance.


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