The Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Act, 2014

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The Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Act, 2014 (Act no. 28 of 2014) has been assented by the President of India on 29th November, 2014 and it was enacted with the object to provide amendment to the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (Act no. 25 of 1946) dated 19th November, 1946. The said Act of 1946 originally makes provisions for constitution of a special police force in Delhi for the investigation of certain offences committed ‘in connection with matters concerning Departments of the Central Government’, for the superintendence and administration of the said force and also for its extension to the part C States. However, by the Act of 26 of 1952 the provision for special police force was extended to the offence committed in the Union Territories. So far as the enactment of this Amending Act is concerned, the Bill namely, The Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2014 was tabled in the House of Peoples on 25th November, 2014 by the Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Mr. Jitendra Singh.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the foremost investigating police agency in India. CBI being an elite force plays a vital important role in public life and ensuring the health of the national economy. CBI traces its origin to the Special Police Establishment (SPE) which was set up by the Indian Government in the year 1941. During the period of World War-II the Special Police Establishment was required to investigate cases of involving ‘Bribery’ and ‘Corruption’ in transactions with the War & Supply Department of India. Even thereafter, the need for investigating the cases involving ‘Bribery’ and ‘Corruption’ by Central Government employees, by the Central Government Agency was felt and as such The Act of 1946 was brought for establishing Special Police Establishment at and the CBI derives its power to investigate cases from the provisions of this Act. So far as the Constitutional status of CBI is concerned, it is doubtful and it is not supported by any such framework for CBI’s existence and operation. Gauhati High Court held CBI unconstitutional on November, 2013, however, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has stayed such decision of High Court and decided CBI’s constitutional validity.

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The Amending Act of 2014 deals with substitution of new clauses in place of older ones, which were originally provided under the provisions of section 4A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. The Section 4A was not originally provided under the Act of 1946, but it was later provided by an amendment. The Act of 1946 as it was amended by the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 (Act no. 45 of 2003), provides for this section 4A. The section deals with recommendation of the Committee which is to be formed for appointment of Director. Such committee should consist of the Central Vigilance Commissioner as Chairperson and other authorities as members. The clause (b) under this Section originally provides for Vigilance Commissioners as members of such committee, however, the Amending Act brought a new clause in place of original one, which provides that the Leader of Opposition recognised as such in the House of the People or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then, the Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in that House to the Member. As such the Act provides for a three member committee to make recommendations to the Central Government for appointment of the Director.

Besides, another sub section (2) is provided by this Amending Act of 2014, where it is given that if at any occasion of vacancy or absence of any member in the Committee, the appointment of Director is not to be treated invalid by that reason.

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In India there are many instances where this CBI found engaged under controversies like, corruption, political interferences, etc. There are many occasion where such involvement of CBI can be found in scandals, etc. including, Bofors Scandal, Hawala Scandal, Priyadarshini Matto Murder case, Bhopal Gas Tragedy, 2G Spectrum Scam and Indian Coal allocation scam.  All the involvements of CBI in such bad works, in resulted from its very interference by Political leaders.