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CBI Directors of India

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the premier investigating agency of India. Operating under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, the CBI is headed by the Cabinet Minister who reports directly to the Prime Minister. The agency has been known to investigate several economic crimes, special crime cases of corruption and other high-profile cases. The CBI headquarters are located at Lodhi Road in New Delhi.

Motto of The CBI is Industry, Impartiality, Integrity and CBI was founded on 1963.

Explained: How the CBI and IB are different

Men from the IB were caught outside the house of CBI director Alok Verma — who is on forced leave. Is the IB just another CBI? Or does the agency have entirely different responsibilities? We explain it for you

CBI Row: Officers Need to Serve the People, Not the Ruling Party

In the news for the wrong reasons, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of late has been attracting public attention for the misdemeanor of it past directors, and more recently, due to the alleged discord between its director and special director that has culminated into Alok Verma tendering his resignation after much political and legal hullabaloo.

In the process, merit is relegated to the back burner, as was in the case of the untimely transfer of Rupak Dutta to ‘accommodate’ the current incumbent Alok Verma, and the controversial induction/promotion of the Special Director Rakesh Asthana.

The high-powered panel for the selection of the director of the CBI has as three members ie the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and the Chief Justice of India. Yet, two of its past directors have been tainted – they have been accused in criminal cases. It is thus a poignant comment on the selection procedure, and a travesty of the highest order.

Rankings & Leadership

There are two types of officers in the CBI – directly recruited officer investigators / support staff, and investigators and supervisors inducted on deputation from outside. The leadership lies with the Indian Police Service (IPS), with officers selected from all over the country. The CBI does not have a policy like the Intelligence Bureau (IB) or Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), wherein the officers on deputation can get permanently absorbed.

An Efficient Organisation

In most cases, the investigation is of high standard, and the investigating officers are encouraged to pursue the collection of scientific evidence. The conviction rate is higher in CBI cases, as the investigating officers do not have to handle other departments like law and order / security/ VIP duties. They devote their full time to investigation. When I joined the Bureau in 1999, I was impressed by the depth of discussion and focus on investigation.

I also found that the investigating officers took much longer to complete an investigation – some in the hope that more cases would not come their way if they go slow on the earlier ones! But by and large, the work culture and environment had been highly professional. During the ’90s, the Bureau was given more resources, and the millennium saw special allowances – 25 percent of the pay for ranks up to the Superintendent of Police, and 15 percent, for ranks above it.

For the Service of the People

In most of the cases, the investigators work independently, but in some cases, there are pressures from different quarters. Most officers are able to withstand these pressures, as documentation is very strong within the CBI. If you are able to justify your stand on paper, it is difficult to be overruled. However, some officers do find cunning ways to bypass these, including taking legal opinion in their favour. Courts intervene occasionally and initiate direct supervision with clear direction not to transfer/shift the investigating officers and the supervisors – as was the case with the investigation of the 2G spectrum allocation case, and coal scam cases.

1D. P. Kohli 1963–1968
2F. V. Arul1968-1971
3D. Sen1971-1977
4S. N. Mathur1977
5C. V. Narsimhan1977
6John Lobo1977-1979
7R. D. Singh1979-1980
8J. S. Bajwa1980-1985
9M. G. Katre1985-1989
10A. P. Mukherjee1989-1990
11R. Sekhar1990
12Vijay Karan1990-1992
13S. K. Datta1992-1993
14K. V. R. Rao1993-1996
15Joginder Singh1996-1997
16R. C. Sharma1997-1998
17D. R. Karthikeyan1998
18T. N. Mishra1998-1999
19R. K. Raghavan1999-2001
20P. C. Sharma2001-2003
21U. S. Misra2003-2005
22Vijay Shanker Tiwari2005-2008
23Ashwani Kumar2008-2010
24A P Singh2010-2012
25Ranjit Sinha2012-2014
26Anil Sinha2014-2016
27Rakesh Asthana (Acting2016-2017
28Alok Verma2017- 2019
29M. Nageshwar Rao (interim)2018-2019
30Rishi Kumar Shukla2019- Present

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