The human resource crunch in the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), which is probing the country’s big corporate scams, can be gauged from the fact that 62 per cent of the sanctioned posts are lying vacant.
This central agency has been able to complete investigation in 54 percent of the cases assigned by the government during the last 10 financial years.
Neemuch’s Right to Information (RTI) activist Chandrashekhar Gaur told PTI on Sunday that the SFIO under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has given him this information as on February 28.
According to the details received by Gaur under the RTI Act, there are a total of 238 sanctioned posts in SFIO, out of which 91 posts are filled and 147 are vacant.
In this agency, which investigates against white-collar criminals with the help of specialist officers from different fields, four posts are working against the sanctioned nine posts of additional or joint director (investigation), while five posts are lying vacant. At the same time, two posts of Additional or Joint Director (Law) are sanctioned and both the posts are lying vacant.
Similarly, 11 posts of Deputy Director (Investigation) are sanctioned in SFIO in which all the posts are vacant.
Amidst the increasing cases of online fraud in the country, it has also been revealed under the RTI Act that there is a huge shortage of officers of digital forensics in SFIO.
In SFIO only one post of Deputy Director (Digital Forensics) is sanctioned and that too is lying vacant. Out of the two sanctioned posts of Senior Assistant Director (Digital Forensics), not a single post could be filled. Six posts of Assistant Director (Digital Forensics) are sanctioned and all the six posts are awaiting appointments.
Apart from this, against the sanctioned 39 posts of Assistant Director (Investigation) in SFIO, only eight posts are filled and officers on the remaining 31 have not been appointed.
The reply received by Gaur under the RTI Act revealed that 17 consultants in SFIO are working on contract basis.
It has also been learned from this reply that in the last 10 financial years i.e. between 2011-12 to 2020-21, a total of 211 cases of corporate malpractices were assigned to SFIO for investigation, out of which investigation has been completed in 114 cases.