Explained: What is the Punjab Bureau of Investigation?

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Explained: What is the Punjab Bureau of Investigation?
Explained: What is the Punjab Bureau of Investigation?
Punjab ADGP Parbodh Kumar in Chandigarh. (Express Photo: Jasbir Malhi)

The Punjab Bureau of Investigation (BOI) is about to start recruiting investigating officers to its 3,000 posts. The notification to set up a Punjab BOI was issued in 2015 by the SAD-BJP government in pursuant to an order by the Supreme Court in July 2014 to have separate investigative and law and order wings.

The BOI is headed by a Director. Currently, ADGP-rank officer Prabodh Kumar is its Director. Initially, the BOI was established under the supervision of director-cum-ADGP at headquarters with DIG-level officer to be in-charge at range level.

In a cabinet meeting, in July 2015, the council of ministers approved the creation of 5,249 posts for the bureau. In February this year, the Punjab cabinet led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh gave its nod to the creation of 4,521 dedicated new posts for the bureau.

The state Home department is still working on a structure notification, and, according to an official, it was likely to be issued within two months.

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What does the Punjab Bureau of Investigation do?

The BOI  is to be assisted by legal and forensic support staff. It is tasked with focusing on heinous and serious criminal cases in a professional, scientific and time-bound manner, so as to ensure effective investigations and better conviction.

After it was constituted in 2015, one of its initial cases was a probe into the spurious pesticide scam handed over to BOI when ADGP Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota was director.

Subsequently, BOI director Sahota led SIT was entrusted with a probe into incidents of desecration and police firing on protesters in Faridkot district in October 2015. The case of murder and other offences was registered in connection with Behbal Kalan police firing, in which two protesters were killed. Currently, a five-member SIT headed by BOI director Prabodh Kumar is probing the 2015 incidents of sacrilege and police firing.

Among the latest cases probed by BOI is Father Anthony Madassery’s allegations against the Khanna police over misappropriation of funds recovered from his residence during a raid.

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