New Delhi, Jan 3 (PTI) A Parliamentary Committee Thursday expressed concerns over vacant posts in the CBI, which is working without a regular chief, and asked the government to take proactive steps to ensure that it does not remain under-staffed.Also Read - Former CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana Appointed Commissioner of Delhi Police

It also objected to the “snail pace” of the International Centre of Excellence in Forensic Science-CBI, which is yet to get approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs. Also Read - Poll Strategist Prashant Kishor Meets Rahul Gandhi in Delhi, Punjab Elections Likely on Agenda

“Shortage of personnel at various levels in CBI is a perennial problem. The Committee has expressed its concern on this on several occasions. Vacancy in any organization, to a large extent, can be anticipated well in advance and proactive efforts should be initiated to complete necessary procedure to fill up the vacancies on time. The CBI seems to have failed in anticipating such a situation,” the panel said in a report tabled in the Parliament. Also Read - Fire in CBI Building at CGO Complex in Delhi, Blaze Under Control

The Committee hopes that compliance of recruitment rules do not lead to delay in filling up of the vacancies in time.

“If so, the rules can be revisited so as is eliminate the delays. In view of this, the Committee reiterates that the government should take proactive steps in filling up of vacancies well in advance, so that the premier institution like CBI do not remain under-staffed, which certainly will have bearing on its performance,” the report said.

CBI or the Central Bureau of Investigation is working without a regular chief after the agency’s Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana were divested of their powers and sent on leave for accusing each other of corruption and other irregularities.

The Committee observes that the level of vacant positions in executive ranks, law officers and technical officers is about 16 per cent, 28 per cent and 56 per cent respectively.

“At the top level, out of four posts of Special Director/Additional Director, three are lying vacant. CBI, in their presentation, has stated that they are feeling the impact of vacancies due to rising burden of investigations. The Committee is deeply concerned about the vacancies remaining unfilled in the CBI due to various reasons,” it said.

The panel noted that increasing number of cases are now being referred to the CBI pertaining to areas like internal security, cyber-crimes, corruption, financial irregularities and the nation cannot afford to have its premier investigative agency understaffed and thus ill-prepared.

It asked the government to consider making terms of deputation to the CBI more rewarding in order to retain capable officers and to attract best officers from the state police forces, central paramilitary forces and the Intelligence Bureau, among others.

The Committee said that the proposal for setting up of the ‘International Centre of Excellence in Forensic Science-CBI’ is pending for long and as informed by the CBI, it is still pending with the home ministry at approval stage.

“The CBI has not provided any justification for their snail pace of setting up of this institution. If the government is serious enough in setting up of this institution, Department of Personnel and Training, MHA and the CBI should expedite their efforts to make the establishment of ICEFS-CBI a reality soon,” the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice said in the report.

To strengthen the capacity building and to reduce the pendency in the courts, the Committee felt the need for establishment of new forensic labs in the country.

The Committee observes that there is huge gap between forensic facilities available and the demand for such services to handle cases promptly and efficiently, it said.

“Police, courts and other public sector bodies like banks, financial institutions which have to depend upon forensic services shall have to wait for the report from government forensic science laboratories for several months to a few years. The Committee therefore recommends for establishment of new forensic labs under its capacity building programme within a specific time frame,” the report said.

It also hit out at the CBI over slow pace of fund utilisation.

“The bottlenecks in utilization of funds should be identified, and proactive steps should be taken, so that schemes do not remain pending for long,” said the report by the Committee headed by BJP lawmaker Bhupender Yadav.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.