What is the Difference Between CID and CBI?

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Difference Between CID and CBI

CID is a state-level agency established in 1902, focusing on investigating crimes within a specific state. On the other hand, CBI, established in 1941, operates at the national level, handling cases of corruption and economic offences.

What is CID?

The Crime Investigation Department (CID) serves as the backbone of criminal investigations within a state. It’s a specialised unit of the state police force, positioned above local police stations, and functions as the supreme investigative agency for complex and serious crimes.

When was CID Established?

The establishment of CIDs across India can be traced back to the early 20th century. In 1902-03, the Indian Police Commission recommended the formation of CIDs in each state. Subsequently, the Government of India ordered their establishment in all states by 1907.

Functions performed by CID:

CID typically serves the following functions:

  • Investigate complex crimes: This includes dacoity (robbery by a gang), highway/railway robbery, counterfeiting, forgery, poisoning, murder for hire, economic offences, human trafficking, and more.
  • Assist local police: The CID can advise, control, and assist local authorities in investigating these crimes, especially those spanning multiple jurisdictions.
  • Handle specialised cases: They investigate the forgery of documents related to telegraphs, railways, and postal services. Additionally, they track foreign criminals and fraud within the postal system.
  • Form specialised squads: The CID can create special teams to tackle specific types of crimes.

CID Handling Important Cases:

The CID doesn’t handle everyday crimes. They step in for:

  • Heinous Crimes: Murders, kidnappings, and other brutal offences that demand meticulous investigation.
  • Complicated Cases: Crimes that span multiple jurisdictions, involve intricate details, or require specialised expertise.
  • Thrilling Cases: High-profile investigations that capture public attention and demand swift resolution.
  • Emerging Threats: They stay ahead of the curve by tackling cybercrimes, a growing concern in today’s digital world.

Taking Orders from the Highest Authorities:

The CID doesn’t operate independently. They take on cases delegated by:

  • State Government: When the nature of the crime demands a broader investigation beyond local police capabilities.
  • High Court: In cases where the judiciary feels a more thorough investigation is necessary.
  • Human Rights Commissions: When human rights violations are suspected and require impartial investigation.
  • Lokpal: The anti-corruption ombudsman can request the CID to investigate corruption cases involving high-ranking officials.

Specialised Branches for Focused Investigation:

While the exact structure varies by state, some common branches within the CID include:

  • Finger Print Bureau: Maintains a fingerprint database to identify criminals.
  • CB-CID (Crime Branch – CID): Handles major crimes, often those spanning multiple districts.
  • Anti-Narcotics Cell: Investigates drug trafficking and related offences.
  • Anti-Human Trafficking & Missing Persons Cell: Combats human trafficking and aids in locating missing individuals.
  • Anti-Terrorism Squad: Focuses on preventing and investigating terrorist activities.
  • Handwriting and Photographic Bureau: Analyses handwriting and photographic evidence.
  • Dog Squad: Utilises specially trained dogs for search and rescue operations, crime scene investigation, and narcotics detection.

What is CBI?

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is India’s leading agency tasked with investigating criminal activity. Often referred to as the CBI, it functions as the country’s apex investigative body.

When was CBI Established?

The CBI’s origins can be traced back to the Special Police Establishment (SPE), established in 1941 under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act of 1946. This initial force primarily focused on investigating corruption within government transactions during World War II. Over time, the SPE’s mandate expanded, culminating in the formation of the present-day CBI in April 1963.

Functions Performed by CBI:

CBI typically serves the following functions:

  • Fight corruption: Investigate corruption by government officials, public sector units, and central financial institutions.
  • Combat economic crime: Probes violations of economic and fiscal laws, including income tax, foreign exchange, customs, and bank regulations.
  • Investigate serious crimes: Handles terrorism, bomb blasts, sensational murders, organised crime, and kidnappings.
  • Coordinate investigations: Facilitates collaboration between anti-corruption agencies and state police forces.
  • Take on special cases: Investigates cases of public importance at the request of state governments.
  • Maintain crime records: Acts as a central repository for crime data and information sharing.

CBI Legal Framework and Jurisdiction:

The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE Act) of 1946 serves as the legal basis for the CBI’s investigative powers. Established under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, the CBI operates from its headquarters in New Delhi.

Investigative authority within a state typically requires consent from the state government. However, the Supreme Court and High Courts can bypass this requirement and order the CBI to investigate criminal cases anywhere in India.

Evolution of the CBI:

The CBI has undergone significant development since its inception. Here’s a brief timeline highlighting key milestones:

  • 1953: The SPE acquires an enforcement wing.
  • 1963: Authorization to investigate offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and various other acts is granted, along with the authority to handle cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act of 1947. The CBI is formally established by the government.
  • April 1963: Initial divisions are formed, including Investigation & Anti-Corruption, Technical, Crime Records & Statistics, Research, Legal & General, and Administration.
  • April 1964: The Economic Offences Wing is established.
  • September 1964: The Food Offences Wing is created (later merged with the Economic Offences Wing in 1968).
  • 1987: Separate divisions for anti-corruption and special crimes are established.
  • 1990s: Specialised units like the Special Investigation Team (SIT), Special Investigation Cell – IV, and Special Task Force are formed.
  • 1994: A separate Economic Offences Wing is re-established.

CBI Current Structure:

The CBI is presently organized into several key divisions:

  • Anti-Corruption Division: Investigates corruption cases involving public servants.
  • Economic Offences Division: Handles economic offences like bank fraud, tax evasion, and financial crimes.
  • Special Crimes Division: Investigates major crimes like murder, kidnapping, and organised crime.
  • Directorate of Prosecution: Oversees the prosecution of cases investigated by the CBI.
  • Administration Division: Manages the agency’s administrative functions.
  • Policy and Coordination Division: Formulates policies and coordinates activities across different CBI units.
  • Central Forensic Science Laboratory: Provides forensic science services to support investigations.

What is the Difference between CID and CBI

This table lists the key differences between CID (Crime Investigation Department) and CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) regarding their establishment, nature, jurisdiction, authority, recruitment process, and the types of cases they handle.

JurisdictionWithin the stateNational and International
AuthorityState government and High courtCentral Government, Supreme Court, and High Court
– Promotion/Transfer within the state police force based on service record and experience. 

– Qualifying Civil Services
Examination conducted by UPSC
or SSC.
– Promotion/Transfer within the state police force based on service record and experience. 

– Qualifying Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC or SSC.
Types of Cases HandledSensitive and complicated cases
such as murder, riot, counterfeiting, forgery, smuggling, kidnapping, theft, etc.
Corruption cases, economic cases, special cases, and other cases.
Difference Between Variance and DeviationDifference Between Covariance and Correlation
Difference Between Pound and Kilogram
Difference Between Marginal Cost and Average CostDifference Between Differentiation and Integration
Difference Between Parallel and Perpendicular
Difference Between Qualitative Analysis and Quantitative AnalysisDifference Between Variance and Deviation
Difference Between Pound and Kilogram


How do I join CID or CBI?

To join CID, you can either get promoted within the state police force or qualify the Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC. For CBI, you need to become an IPS officer through the Civil Services Examination.

Is CID higher than police?

CID is a specialized unit within the police department focused on investigating serious crimes. It’s not inherently “higher” but involves specialized training and responsibilities.

What is the difference between CBI and police?

CBI is a central-level investigative agency, while the police operate at the state or local level. CBI deals with cases of national importance, while police handle local law enforcement.

Is CID a state or central agency?

CID is a state-level agency, operating within a particular state’s police department. It investigates crimes within the state’s jurisdiction.

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