SC takes note of CBI's persistent plea of lack of manpower

 The constant refrain of premier probe agency CBI that it faces "severe man-power deficit" was taken note of today by the Supreme Court, which sought specific information including the cadre strength and its last revision before intervening to resolve the vexatious issue.

New Delhi: The constant refrain of premier probe agency CBI that it faces "severe man-power deficit" was taken note of today by the Supreme Court, which sought specific information including the cadre strength and its last revision before intervening to resolve the vexatious issue.

"We will examine whether we need to intervene to direct revision of your cadre strength," a bench of Justices T S Thakur and C Nagappan said while hearing petitions relating to chit-fund scam cases.

"Please tell us about the bottlenecks," it said and sought specific information from the CBI in its order.

"What is the current cadre strength of the CBI and when it was revised last? What was the number of cases pending with the CBI when the cadre strength was last revised," it asked.

It also asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar and Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for CBI, to furnish these information within two weeks.

The CBI will have to also apprise the court about the "impediment" it faced in filling up its vacancies and steps taken in this regard.

"Is there any proposal for revision of CBI's cadre strength," it sought to know.

The bench's order came during the hearing of an interim application of the CBI seeking additional manpower from West Bengal police for registration of 265 non-Saradha chit-fund scam cases in the state.

The probe agency had said that it needed 10 SPs, 15 Investigating Officers (IOs) of the rank of Additional SPs, 30 IOs of the rank of Dy SPs and 85 IOs to rank of Inspectors.

In addition, the agency has also said it required 40 SIs, 20 ASIs and 30 Head Constables for this purpose.

The West Bengal Police responded by saying that it may not be able to meet the demand as it was itself short of policemen.

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