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Opinion

New manual on graft investigations: CBI aims to complete probes in 9 months

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New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has decided to complete most of its investigations under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PC) within a maximum period of nine months, according to the agency’s latest Crime Manual, which was updated after 15 years. .

The one-year deadline in corruption cases will apply only in those cases in which a high-ranking government official, such as a deputy secretary or secretary, is charged and the investigation is being supervised by an official with the rank of additional director or superior at the CBI. said people familiar with the development.

For cases against lower-ranking government officials, such as secretaries or section officers, etc., CBI Investigative Officers (IOs) must complete investigations within six months.

The latest CBI Crime Handbook, which has been prepared by a task force led by Additional Director Praveen Sinha after consulting legal experts, retired agency officials and other experts, has for the first time provided a provision to train ” investigative teams “in complex cases. rather than relying on an Investigating Officer (IO). The manual, to which IWC officers refer when initiating a Preliminary Investigation (PE) or First Information Report (FIR) and conducting investigations, had become out of date as the courts had repealed several criminal laws and have been amended. various laws as well.

The Corruption Prevention Law and the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) have also been amended since then, and the Supreme Court has issued several judgments, which have been taken into account when updating the manual for the benefit of IOs, said the official.

The manual also places special emphasis on investigations abroad. The officials cited above said that a special chapter has been dedicated in the manual that explains how to conduct investigations abroad, as well as the procedures and operation of Interpol.

“We have extensively revised our SOPs (standard operating procedures) to improve the speed and quality of the investigation and in line with global best practices,” said an official who did not want to be named. The new manual will explain to IOs the procedure for collecting digital evidence, as a large number of cases related to child pornography, phishing, bitcoins, etc. are being reported. that have international ramifications.

It also has information on the operation of CBI’s preventive surveillance so that field units can use it, officials said.

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