New Delhi, May 28 - A Parliamentary Committee has expressed serious concern over 855 vacant posts in the country's premier investigation agency CBI and recommended strategic steps on a war-footing to fill them.
It rejected the argument put forth by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions for maintaining the 'deputationist character' of CBI by taking officials from states police and central police forces on deputation and insisted on in-house grooming of the agency's officials.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee "would like to place on record its deep anguish over the vacancies existing in CBI at various levels...
"The Committee fails to understand how, the country's premier investigating agency, whose mandate has witnessed an unprecedented increase in the recent years, can be expected to function efficiently and keep up with the high expectations placed on it by the public, judiciary and legislature, with such a large shortfall of manpower on several important posts," a report of the panel said.
According to the Ministry of Personnel, which acts as a nodal agency for administration of CBI, as many as 855 posts were lying vacant in the investigating agency. Of the total vacancies, a highest of 626 were at executive level, 61 of law officers and 40 of technical officers.
The Ministry has cited higher pay scales, non- finalisation of recruitment rules and non-availability of suitable officials as some of the reasons behind the vacancies.
"The situation is beyond justification because in the proposed Lokpal regime, the role of CBI in investigating corruption cases is bound to expand tremendously. Therefore, CBI can ill afford to have such large number of vacancies," the panel said.
"The Committee strongly feels it to be a matter of serious concern that the officers and staff of CBI, who are already under immense stress and strain, will surely not be able to keep pace with the workload, if the vacancies continue to exist," said the report tabled in Parliament. PTI