Power, Function & Composition of CBI. Do They Carry Gun?


CBI is the intelligence agency of the country. It was formed in the year 1941, which was earlier named as Special Police Establishment and the work is to investigate the bribery and corruption in transaction with War and Supply department of India. In the year 1963 under the leadership of D.P. Kohli it was renamed as CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs and was given extended jurisdiction to investigate breaches of central laws which are enforceable by the Government of India. The establishment of the CBI was recommended by the Santhanam Committee on prevention of corruption. It is not a statutory body and it derives it powers from Delhi Police Establishment Act, 1946.

The CBI academy is located at Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh and started functioning in year 1996. Besides the CBI academy at Ghaziabad, there are three regional training centers imparting training at regional levels at Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai.


CBI is headed by a Director who is an IPS (Indian Police Services) officer of the rank of Inspector General. He is assisted by Special director or an Additional Director. It has more officers of the rank Joint Directors, Deputy Inspector General and all other usual ranks of police personnel. In total it has around 5,000 staff members, about 125 forensic scientists and about 250 law officers. It is headquartered in CGO Complex, New Delhi.

The Director of CBI is appointed on the recommendation of a three-member committee consisting of the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and the Chief Justice of India or a judge of Supreme Court nominated by him. Rishi Kumar Shukla is the present director of the CBI.


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


1. Investigating cases on corruption, bribery, and misconduct of Central Government Employees

2. Investigating cases related to the infringement of laws related to export and import control, custom and central excise, income tax, foreign exchange regulations, etc.

3. Investigating serious crimes having national and international ramification, committed by organized gangs of professional criminals

4. Investigating any case of public importance which was requested by any state or any court.

5. Maintaining crime statistics and disseminating criminal information.

The CBI acts as the National Interpol of the country and has multidimensional powers.


The CBI derives it powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act. 1946. This gives power to the CBI officers in the Union Territory. The power can be extended to any other state with the prior permission of the central government and the consent of the concerned state. The CBI can investigate only those offences which are notified by the central government in the Delhi Special Police Act, 1946.


1. Bhanwari Devi Murder Case: in this case, Bhanwari was abducted and eliminated. The charges were against the husband and an MLA Malkhan Singh

2. Purulia Arms Drop Case: in which unauthorized arms were dropped from an Antonov AN-26 plane in Purulia district of West Bengal

3. Satyam Scam Case,2009: this was perhaps India’s biggest corporate fraud case in which Satyam Computer Services Limited causes loss to the investor of about 14,162 crores.


The main work of CBI is investigation which doesn’t require a gun to carry every time. They majorly deal with corruption cases on public servants and they are not like regular criminals which require gun to scare them. The name of CBI is enough to scare the public servant to cooperate with the department without any force and coercion. These investigation cases are Suo Moto cases which are taken by CBI Itself to investigate and are of civilian nature.

There are few cases which are given to CBI by the state government or ordered by any court which involved special crimes that require the CBI officers to carry gun. These criminals cannot be dealt physically and require a gun to carry as sometimes there is an exchange of fire between the CBI and the criminals.

Service guns are there at every bench of the CBI and if the investigating officer (IO) feels that carrying a gun is necessary then he can issue a gun. Investigating at some dangerous places and dealing with some hardcore criminals, CBI persons keep guns as long as they think it necessary. The standard gun they use is Glock pistol which is US made.

It is also the fact that not all the 5000 personnel in CBI carry a gun, only the law officers and the officers or personnel who are involved in the investigation carry a gun if they feel it is necessary.

Presently CBI is concentrating on increasing the skills of their agents in the field of advanced technology like using the latest software and gadgets which would be useful in their investigation. This will enable the agents to tackle the new-age crime of cyber world. This is one of the reasons also that the use of gun in CBI is day to day declining.


CBI has shown its competence and a reputation of impartiality over the years by solving cases involving terrorism, corruption, etc. the courts have also considered CBI as a pioneer institution and entrusted CBI in the investigation of very important cases. The investigation and the finding of CBI are not generally questioned because of its zero error reputation and diligence.

This article is authored by Aakash Singh, 2nd Year, B.A.LL.B student at Maharaja Agrasen School of Law, Indraprastha University.

Also Read – Why Indian Courts have Lots of Pending Cases?

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