CBI manual revised after 2005; has new chapters on handling cyber crime, conducting probes abroad

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New Delhi, Dec 21 (PTI) Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Monday released the new Crime Manual of the CBI which has been revised after 15 years, introducing changes in the standard operating procedures -- especially to probe digital crimes in the cyber world and those across national boundaries -- and quickening the pace of investigation, officials said.

Cases at the heads-of-branches level will now have to be completed within six months while those supervised at the senior level of heads of zones will have to be completed within nine months from the earlier deadlines of around one year, they said. The agency had set up a task force under Additional Director Praveen Sinha to make necessary changes in the crime manual, a set of guidelines for the investigating officer to follow while probing a case, which was last changed in 2005, the officials said.

The team spoke to former senior officers of the agency, legal experts and other stakeholders to come together with the new set of guidelines after factoring in the changing crime landscape, evidence collection, international treaties, emergence of new avenues to track criminals among others, officials said.

The manual has a new chapter on procedures to be followed while conducting investigations abroad and coordinating and operating with Interpol.

Another new addition is a chapter on investigations in the digital world and cyber crime. A new standard operating procedure for handling digital evidence has been introduced in the chapter.

Minister of State for Personnel, Pensions and Public Grievances Jitendra Singh congratulated the CBI for bringing out the updated crime manual after 15 years by keeping sight of the latest developments in law, investigation techniques and procedures, a CBI spokesperson said.

The purpose of revising the guidelines was aimed at enhancing the speed and quality of investigation in consonance with global best practices, considering the strides in information and communication technology, the officials said.

The revised manual takes into account the latest laws, Supreme Court judgements and their interpretations which are condensed into manual form, making it easy for the investigating officer to easily refer to and follow them, they said.

The new manual aims to break the silos while handling larger and complex cases by focussing more on team approach in the agency to achieve better results. It has a special focus on preventive vigilance to curb corruption at the ground level, they said. PTI ABS RDM RDM