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CBI Full Form is Central Bureau of Investigation and its Function

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s top investigative organization, is the subject of this article. It underlines the agency’s relevance and urges applicants to prioritize their study for the IAS Mains exam because of its regular news appearances and significant importance, in line with the UPSC Syllabus 2024 for General Studies Paper-II.

CBI Full Form

CBI Full Form, which stands for Central Bureau of Investigation, was Established by the Government of India in 1941; it initially focused on bribery and corruption within the government. These could involve high-profile corruption cases, international crimes, and matters related to national security.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Background

Emergence Amidst War

  • In the early WWII phase, India’s Government established the Special Police Establishment (SPE) in 1941. It tackled corruption tied to the War and Supply Department.

Expanding Jurisdiction

  • By 1942, SPE’s role widened to encompass railway corruption due to war material movement. The government released an Ordinance in 1943 to create a Special Police Force with extended powers.

Continued Vigilance

  • Post-war, the need for a central agency remained. The 1943 Ordinance lapsed, replaced by the 1946 Delhi Special Police Establishment Ordinance, later formalized as the 1946 Act.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Establishment


  • Ministry Under control: Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions
  • Power Under The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act of 1941. Non-Statutory Institution

Santhanam Committee’s Recommendation:

  • The CBI’s inception was endorsed by the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption (1962–1964).

Key Role and Assistance:

  • CBI crucially combats corruption, upholds administration integrity, and aids the Central Vigilance Commission and Lokpal. Differentiation from NIA
  • Unlike the National Investigation Agency (NIA), formed post the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, which primarily handles terrorism-related matters, the CBI investigates corruption, economic offenses, and serious organized crime, excluding terrorism.


  • Based on its motto, mission, and the need to develop professionalism, transparency, adaptability to change, and use of science and technology in its work, the CBI will focus on Combating corruption in public life, curbing economic and violent crimes through meticulous investigation and prosecution
  • Evolving effective systems and procedures for successful investigation and prosecution of cases in various law courts
  • Helping fight cyber and high-technology crime
  • Creating a healthy work environment that encourages teambuilding, free communication, and mutual trust
  • Supporting state police organizations and law enforcement agencies in national and international cooperation, particularly relating to inquiries and investigation of cases
  • Playing a lead role in the war against national and transnational organized crime.

CBI Original Organizational Structure (1963)

Upon its establishment in 1963, the CBI comprised six divisions:

  • Investigation and Anti-Corruption Division (Delhi Special Police Establishment)
  • Technical Division
  • Crime Records and Statistics Division
  • Research Division
  • Legal and General Division
  • Administration Division

Current Organizational Setup (2019): As of 2019, the CBI’s structure encompasses seven divisions:

  • Anti-Corruption Division
  • Economic Offences Division
  • Special Crimes Division
  • Policy and Coordination Division
  • Administration Division
  • Directorate of Prosecution
  • Central Forensic Science Laboratory

CBI Leadership and Hierarchical Structure

  • The CBI’s leadership is headed by a Director, assisted by a Special Director or Additional Director.
  • Its workforce totals around 5000 members, including approximately 125 forensic scientists and 250 law officers.
  • Director’s Role and Tenure: As the Inspector-General of Police for the Delhi Special Police Establishment, the Director of CBI oversees organizational administration. The CVC Act, of 2003, introduced a two-year term for the Director’s position, securing their tenure.
  • Amendments via Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act (2013): The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, brought changes to the CBI’s composition:

The Director of CBI is now appointed by a committee comprising: Prime Minister as Chairperson, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, and the Chief Justice of India or a nominated Supreme Court Judge.

Functions of CBI

  • Corruption and Misconduct: Probing corruption, bribery, and misconduct cases involving Central government employees.
  • Fiscal and Economic Offenses: Investigating breaches of fiscal and economic laws, often in collaboration with relevant departments.
  • Serious and Organized Crimes: Addressing national and international high-profile crimes perpetrated by organized criminal groups.
  • Coordination and Support: Coordinating anti-corruption efforts, collaborating with state police, and aiding investigations.
  • Public Interest Cases: Assisting state governments by investigating significant cases upon request.
  • Crime Data and Information: Collecting and disseminating crime statistics and criminal intelligence.
  • Scope and Expertise: CBI, a multidisciplinary agency, handles corruption, economic offenses, and conventional crime investigations. It mainly focuses on Central Government, Union Territories, and their entities. The agency also undertakes conventional crime investigations on state government referrals or court directions.
  • Interpol Coordination: CBI functions as India’s “National Central Bureau” of Interpol, managing investigation-related requests from domestic law enforcement and Interpol member countries

Prior Approval Requirement of CBI

The CBI needs the Central Government’s prior approval for inquiries into offenses by Central Government officers of joint secretary rank and above.

Supreme Court’s Ruling (2014):

  • Supreme Court invalidated Section 6A of the DSPE Act, ending mandatory prior sanction for CBI probes against senior bureaucrats in corruption cases.

Landmark Judgment’s Impact:

  • CBI Director praised the decision, emphasizing equal treatment for corruption cases regardless of status. The Bench deemed Section 6A obstructive, undermining anti-corruption goals.

Corruption, Equality, and Inquiry:

  • The Court stressed tracking corrupt officials is vital, rejecting differentiation based on rank. It deemed Section 6A counterproductive, impeding truth-seeking and violating Article 14 equality principles

CBI vs State Police Jurisdiction

  • Supplementary Role of SPE: The Special Police Establishment (SPE), part of CBI, complements the state police. Both hold concurrent investigation and prosecution powers under the Delhi Police Establishment Act, of 1946.

Avoiding Duplication

  • Central Government Focus: SPE handles cases primarily concerning Central Government and its employees.
  • State Government Focus: State police handle cases primarily concerning state government and employees.
  • Central Undertakings: SPE handles cases against employees of Central Government-funded public undertakings or statutory bodies.

Cases Handled by the CBI

The CBI handles a diverse range of cases including special crimes like terrorism and organized crime, economic crimes such as financial frauds and cybercrime, and anti-corruption cases against government officials, and it can take up investigations in Union Territories as well as across states under specific authorizations and court orders.

Category Cases Handled by CBI
Special Crimes Investigation of serious and organized crimes under the Indian Penal Code and other laws, like terrorism, bomb blasts, kidnapping for ransom, and mafia-related crimes.
Economic Crimes Investigation of major financial scams, economic frauds, fake currency, cybercrime, bank frauds, smuggling of narcotics, antiques, cultural property, etc.
Anti-Corruption Crimes Investigation of cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act against government officials and employees of Central Government, PSU, or Government-controlled bodies.
Suo Moto Cases CBI can initiate investigations in Union Territories without a specific request.
Central Government Authorization CBI can investigate crimes in a State with the consent of the concerned State Government.
Court Orders Supreme Court and High Courts can direct CBI to investigate a crime nationwide without State consent.

CBI Director List

CBI Directors list has discuss in the tables give information about tenure:

CBI Directors Tenure
D. P. Kohli 1 April 1963 – 31 May 1968
F. V. Arul 31 May 1968 – 6 May 1971
D. Sen 6 May 1971 – 29 March 1977
S. N. Mathur 29 March 1977 – 2 May 1977
C. V. Narsimhan 2 May 1977- 25 November 1977
John Lobo 25 November 1977 – 30 June 1979
R. D. Singh 30 June 1979 – 24 January 1980
J. S. Bajwa 24 January 1980 – 28 February 1985
M. G. Katre 28 February 1985 – 31 October 1989
A. P. Mukherjee 31 October 1989 – 11 January 1990
R. Sekhar 11 January 1990 – 14 February 1990
S. K. Datta 14 February 1990 – 31 July 1993
K. V. R. Rao 31 July 1993 – 31 July 1996
Joginder Singh 31 July 1996 – 30 June 1997
R. C. Sharma 30 June 1997 – 31 January 1998
D. R. Karthikeyan (acting) 31 January 1998 – 31 March 1998
T. N. Mishra (acting) 31 March 1998 – 4 January 1999
R. K. Raghavan 4 January 1999 – 1 April 2001
P. C. Sharma 1 April 2001 – 6 December 2003
U. S. Misra 6 December 2003 – 6 December 2005
Vijay Shanker Tiwari 12 December 2005 – 31 July 2008
Ashwani Kumar 2 August 2008 – 30 November 2010
A. P. Singh 30 November 2010 – 30 November 2012
Ranjit Sinha 3 December 2012 – 2 December 2014
Anil Sinha 3 December 2014 – 2 December 2016
Rakesh Asthana (Special Director) 3 December 2016 – 31 January 2017
Raaz P 1 February 2017 – 10 January 2019
M. Nageshwar Rao (interim) 24 October 2018 – 1 February 2019
Rishi Kumar Shukla 2 February 2019 – Present (in-charge)

CBI- Appointment, Composition, and Jurisdiction

  • Appointment of CBI Director: The director is selected by a high-profile appointment committee provided in the Lokpal Act 2014. The committee consists of-
  • Chairperson: The Prime Minister of India
  • Member: Leader of Opposition of Lok Sabha or the Leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha, if the former is not present due to lack of mandated strength in the Lok Sabha.
  • Representation from Judiciary: Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court Judge recommended by the Chief Justice.
  • Director of CBI: Central Bureau of Investigation director as Inspector General of Police, Delhi Special Police Establishment, is responsible for the administration of the CBI.
  • Tenure: The director of CBI was provided security of two-year tenure, by the CVC Act, 2003 which can be increased to five years by the central government as per the amended Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
  • Jurisdiction of CBI: The central government may extend to any area (except UTs) the powers and jurisdiction of the CBI for investigation, subject to the consent of the government of the concerned state.

However, the Supreme Court of India and High Courts can order CBI to investigate a crime anywhere in the country without the consent of the State.

CBI Full Form Central Bureau of Investigation and its Function_3.1

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What is the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)?

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is India's primary investigative agency responsible for probing a wide range of cases, including special crimes, economic offenses, and anti-corruption matters.

How is CBI's relevance highlighted in the IAS Mains exam preparation?

The article underscores CBI's significance, encouraging IAS aspirants to prioritize studying it due to its frequent presence in the news and its alignment with the UPSC Syllabus for General Studies Paper-II.

What kind of cases does the CBI handle?

CBI handles a diverse range of cases, including special crimes like terrorism and organized crime, economic crimes such as financial frauds and cybercrime, and anti-corruption cases against government officials.

What is the jurisdiction of the CBI in terms of territories?

CBI can initiate investigations in Union Territories without a specific request. For investigations in states, the Central Government's authorization is required, or the Supreme Court and High Courts can direct CBI to investigate a crime nationwide.

How does CBI's leadership structure work?

CBI's leadership is headed by a Director, assisted by a Special Director or Additional Director. The Director's tenure was introduced via the CVC Act of 2003, ensuring a two-year term.

About the Author

Hey there! I'm Nikesh, a content writer at Adda247. I specialize in creating informative content focused on UPSC and State PSC exams. Join me as we unravel the complexities of these exams and turn aspirations into achievements together!

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