On Friday, 3rd September 2021, the Supreme Court decided to analyse the Central Bureau of Investigations’ success rate and performance by looking at the cases which the agency has brought to a logical conclusion.
The bench comprising of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh justified this evaluation by stating that the agency is not only responsible for lodging a case and investigating it but it is also essential that the cases are successfully prosecuted.
REASON BEHIND EVALUATION
It was noted by the apex court of the country that there was “ a saga of gross negligence in performing duties” which results in a delay in filing the cases in the courts, and therefore, a response was demanded from the director regarding the same. Hence, the court is examining the prosecution wing of the agency.
Furthermore, the Director of the CBI was directed to produce before the court the number of cases that have been prosecuted and the cases in which the agency was able to get the convict prosecuted in trial courts or High courts.
CONTENTIONS OF THE ADDITIONAL SOLICITOR GENERAL
The Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain appealed to the Bench that the rates of successful prosecution are one of the factors in determining the efficiency of the agency in an adversarial litigation system like India and hence cannot be the only measure of the success of the agency.
RESPONSE OF THE BENCH
The Bench held that the same system for analyzing the success is being applied all over the world and the contention produced by the Additional Solicitor General cannot be a valid reason for not applying it to the CBI.
Furthermore, the bench held that successful prosecution is very essential as that is the main purpose behind lodging a complaint and probing into the issue, and therefore examining the litigation wing of the agency is very important.
The Bench has given a period of four weeks to produce the following data in front of the Court: the cases being handled by the CBI, the number of cases presently being prosecuted by the CBI in trial courts and the number of cases which the CBI has successfully prosecuted.
Along with the following data the bench ordered the Director of the CBI to file an affidavit consisting of the measures taken by him for improving the agency and the methods through which the cases could be properly prosecuted.
The examination into the agency was started by the Court when there was a delay of 542 days by the CBI in filing an appeal, for which the agency provided the justification that they were dealing with 95 cases and did not have enough manpower.
The Court rejected the justification and held that the system needs to be improved by analyzing the prosecution wing of the agency in order to improve the agency.