September 4, 2019 9:11:56 pm
The CBI is unable to fulfil its mandate of investigating inter-state crimes due to the absence of consent of some state governments, agency chief Rishi Kumar Shukla said on Wednesday.
The CBI is mandated to investigate crimes with inter-state and international ramifications but it requires consent from the respective state governments, supported by a notification from the Centre or an order from high courts or the Supreme Court.
In January this year, the Congress-led Chhattisgarh government had withdrawn the general consent accorded to the CBI to probe cases in the state.
The West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh governments had also withdrawn the general consent accorded to the CBI to conduct probe and raids in their jurisdiction.
Inaugurating the first National Conference on Cyber Crime Investigation and Cyber Forensics at the CBI headquarteres here, Shukla said that while digitisation has improved the quality of citizen services, it has also increased vulnerability several folds.
He raised the issue of the CBI requiring the consent of state governments under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. The CBI director highlighted the “dichotomous situation where the agency is unable to fulfil its mandate in investigating inter-state crimes due to the absence of consent of some state governments”.
The two-day conference, organised by the CBI, covers one of the mandates of the agency which is to investigate crimes with inter-state and international ramifications.
In his inaugural address, the CBI director said the conference is aimed at creating a platform and bringing together investigators, lawyers, forensic experts and academia to discuss challenges related to cyber crime and ways to find solutions.
It will also be a platform to share good practices to learn from experiences of various state police and law enforcement agencies, he said.
He emphasised that in the modern world, every sector- be it health, power, finance, water supply and infrastructure – all are digitised.
“What is urgently needed are efforts to create capacity building and creation of a pool of competent investigators, digital forensic analysts, prosecutors and judicial officers who are digitally aware,” he said.
Shukla said cyber crimes posed unique challenges to law enforcement officers.
“Such crimes are complex and require certain skills and forensic skills for detection. Evidence is essentially volatile and digital evidence is located abroad,” he said.
The CBI director noted that these crimes are truly borderless and therefore, theories of traditional jurisdiction come under challenge while investigations are in progress.
He also said there is an urgent need for law enforcement agencies to equip themselves to fight these cyber criminals effectively and expeditiously in a coordinated manner.
Concluding his address, Shukla said as India stands at the cusp of a digital revolution, law enforcement officers should focus on basics that will help keep cyber crimes under check and take effective deterrent action.
With the complexity of cyber crime increasing, the challenges before law enforcement agencies will only become more complex in the future, he said.
Around 50 officers including DGPs, ADGPs, IGPs, DIGPs and SPs dealing with cyber crime in state and UT Police, central agencies, the Home Ministry, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, other ministries, experts from law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and academia are participating.
Several lectures, presentations and panel discussions on various topics/themes of law enforcement interest, including mobile/digital forensics, Inter-LEA information/intelligence exchange, obtaining digital evidence from abroad, online harming including child sexual abuse, social media, are being discussed.
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