Interim CBI chief begins process of making structural changes: Officials

Several officers have raised issue of uneven distribution of work which is affecting ongoing probes and work force distribution.

New Delhi: CBI interim chief M Nageswara Rao has started the process of making structural changes in the Central Bureau of Investigation in order to streamline the work load on various zones of the agency across the country, officials said.

Several senior officers have raised the issue of uneven distribution of work in various zones which is affecting the ongoing probes and work force distribution.

Normally the issues such as these are discussed in the quarterly review meeting of all the joint directors and deputy inspector general when they converge at New Delhi headquarters of the agency.

The last quarterly meeting scheduled in December last year did not take place as the Supreme Court had barred Rao, in his first tenure as acting director, from taking any policy decisions.

In a controversial order on October 23, 2018, the government had divested the powers of the then CBI director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana sending them on forced leave as both had accused each other of corruption.

The move was taken after a bitter battle between the two top officials of the agency spilled in the public domain. A corruption case was filed against Rakesh Asthana. A plea to quash it has been rejected by the Delhi High Court.

The government had given charge of the agency to Joint Director Rao, who was later promoted as additional director.

On a plea of Verma, challenging the forced leave order of the government, the Supreme Court had directed Rao to not take any major policy decision.

The Supreme Court had re-instated Verma on January 8 this year, setting aside government order to send him on forced leave.

Within 48 hours, a high powered committee comprising of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Justice AK Sikri and Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge in a split verdict, decided to transfer Verma as Director General Fire Services.

Following the decision, Rao was again given the charge of the agency.

Rao has now moved a proposal among all the joint directors seeking their comments on the restructuring of zones as the previous restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court do not apply in his fresh term, officials said.

Each zone will have a Special Crime branch and an Economic Offences branch in addition to the Anti-Corruption Branches with co-terminus jurisdiction of respective zone, a proposal circulated among all the CBI offices said.

According to the proposal, Anti-Corruption Branch of Bengaluru will be reporting to Chennai zone. It is reporting to Hyderabad which has just three branches under it.

Hyderabad zone will also look after the works of the Anti-Corruption branches of Raipur, Jabalpur and Bhopal.

Mumbai zone will get two new branches, under it a special crime and an Anti-Corruption based in Nagpur, taking the tally from current five to seven branches under it.

( Source : PTI )
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