Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has sought to know from CBI if it has adequate infrastructure and whether there has been an increase in its strength of personnel since it was set up in 1963. A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi was hearing a bunch of petitions on custodial death in which probe in one case was handed over to CBI. CBI counsel Rebecca Gonsalves informed the court that probe is over and a proposal has been forwarded to the CBI headquarters in Delhi for approval to file the charge sheet.
“If the headquarters grants approval, then a proposal will be forwarded to Maharashtra government for sanction to prosecute the police officers,” she said. Advocate Yug Choudhary, appearing for one of the petitioners, told the court that CBI had in November last year made the same statement but till date no steps have been taken.
“The CBI in every case says it is overburdened. What was the strength of CBI in 1963 when it was set up in 1963 and what is the strength now? CBI has no infrastructure?” the court queried.
Rebecca told the court that there are only nine officers in the special crime branch for the entire western region. “Some of these officers are sent to Rajasthan and also south India for investigations,” she said. “Has CBI (Western region) ever made a demand to the Centre for more personnel and better infrastructure? If such a demand was made, was it considered? We would like to know this,” Justice Kanade said.
“In a large number of cases that involves high-ranking government officials and politicians, the local police is not in a position to investigate. In such cases, the CBI is handed over the probe. But does it have adequate infrastructure and officials to handle such cases?” the court asked. The high court has asked CBI to file an affidavit by October 21.