Is education in economics necessary to investigate economic offences?
The reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has shown that most of the police officers in the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the crime branch of Nagpur Police don’t have qualifications in accounts or finances despite the fact that they deal in complicated financial frauds.
The reply from the economic offences wing says that out of 22 The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. officers posted in the EOW, only two have got academic background in economics. The reply states that only one of the five police inspectors deployed in EOW has a degree in science and law apart from an MBA degree. No information was provided about the remaining four inspectors. Similarly, there is only one constable in the unit who has a bachelor’s degree in commerce.
Though the activists contend that an academic background in economics, finance or accounts is necessary to handle cases of financial frauds as it will ensure that the cops understand the case at hand, the senior police officers are of the view that investigating cops need only adequate knowledge of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and Indian Penal Code (IPC). Deputy Commissioner of police, crime branch and head of EOW, along with the Joint commissioner of police feels that educational qualification is no bar for a sound investigation.
It is often seen in the government that the manpower deployment policies are poor and individuals are shunted on considerations other that their qualifications / abilities.