Faced with shortage of staff, the CBI has sought officers, including those from non-police background, on deputation from other organisations and offered special financial incentives to them.
The agency has written to the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) seeking nomination of suitable officers with "impeccable integrity" to fill vacant positions at the level of Superintendents of Police (SPs).
Central Bureau of Investigation is a predominantly deputationist organisation and the bureau requires officers from different organisations for induction in the rank of SP.
"This proves to be advantageous to both the organisations. While the bureau would gain from utilising the expertise and experience of these officers for investigation of complex cases, the experience gained by them in CBI would benefit the parent organisation after their repatriation," a letter by CBI's Joint Director Prabodh Kumar said.
He said the officers will be eligible for Special Incentive Allowance at the rate of 25 per cent of the pay plus Dearness Allowance.
"To fill up the posts of SPs on deputation basis, this bureau is looking for willing, suitable and eligible officers with impeccable integrity and outstanding Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs)," Kumar said.
The letter assumes significance as the agency is entrusted with probing multi-crore scams like Saradha chit fund scam and alleged irregularities in allocations of coal and second generation spectrum (2G), among others.
The CBEC mainly has officers from Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) and others cadres having expertise in matters related to customs, central excise and service tax.
As per CBI's latest data, 1,600 posts are vacant in the premier probe agency. Of these 1,148 are in the executive ranks including senior posts of Special or Additional Director, and Joint Director. About 45 posts of SP-level, against the total sanctioned strength of 119, are lying vacant.
About 50 posts of Deputy SPs, 251 Inspectors, 282 Sub-Inspectors and 423 constables are also lying vacant.
There is vacancy for 173 legal officers in the CBI. Besides, the posts of Senior Advisor, Advisor and Deputy Advisor for banking, taxation, foreign exchange and insurance, among others are also lying vacant.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which acts as nodal authority for administrative needs of the CBI, is also taking steps to fill the vacancies.
"Efforts are being made both by the CBI and the government to fill the vacancies," a senior DoPT official said.