CBI SP Job profile | Power, Promotions, Facilities and Prestige compared with Local Police SP

You can watch the YouTube video on this article below –

CBI SP vs State Police SP Job Profile

If you want to head over to YouTube to watch this video, click here.

If you are uncomfortable in Hindi or would like to read, then keep reading.

CBI SP is the first person in the CBI ladder of supervision. That means that the SP of CBI doesn’t have to do any work related to the investigation in CBI; rather he will just supervise a few cases of his branch.

Consider a scenario that you as an IO are investigating a case and you have identified five accused persons in your case. Then it is not you who can decide who should be made government witness and who should be prosecuted. It is the higher supervisory authorities of CBI who shall decide these things.

Therefore you shall put your findings in a report and place it upon a file and put it up before SP to read, study and write his comments. The SP of the branch will then mark his comments and recommendations in a file and then proceed that file up in the ladder to higher authorities for their approval. The file will then move on to the law officer and thus it will continue up to the level of Special Director of CBI, sometimes even to the level of the Director.

The chain of supervision in CBI is summed up in the below image – 

How to become SP in CBI?

There are two ways to become CBI SP. 

  1. Through promotion from SI  – As I have stated before in the promotions article that If you have been really lucky or if you have joined this department at a very young age 21 or 22, then you will be able to reach up to the level of SP and you might remain there for about 2-3 years before you retire. This way is not the sure shot way as you might retire as an ASP. 
  2. By becoming an IPS then coming to CBI on deputation – This method is a sure-shot way to becoming an SP in CBI. To become an IPS officer, you need to clear the UPSC CSE exam and you will be assigned a state cadre. After working for about 3-4 years in your state cadre, you can apply for deputation in CBI. If approved by the CBI and by your cadre authorities, you will be able to come to CBI at the post of SP or higher. 

Before 2010, there was another way by which aspirants could become SP in CBI sooner without clearing the UPSC CSE exam. That was by clearing the Direct DySP exam conducted by UPSC for the post of DySP of CBI directly. The officers who had cleared the exam have become SP or even DIG and they will likely reach up to the level of Special Director of CBI. Although they won’t be made the Director of CBI as you need to be an IPS to become CBI Director. 

That exam has been discontinued by the UPSC after 2010. 

Power of CBI SP in comparison with a state police SP

I have already made a detailed article on this topic, you can read it here. 

To sum it up, I would say that the CBI SP has very limited powers in comparison to the state police SP. A state police SP has 8-9 chowkis (Police Thanas) under his charge. Furthermore, he has a true authority to take independent decisions in many cases while it is not so for the CBI SP. As I have stated earlier that every decision in CBI is taken by a chain of supervisory officers so neither the SP nor the DIG of CBI has any true authority to make decisions. 

Facilities of CBI SP compared with state police SP

I have also made a detailed article on this topic, you can read it here.

In summary, the CBI SP has a very limited set of facilities, like a non-AC car, no entourage of constables, No Bunglaw but a Tier – 5 quarter, etc.

In comparison, a state police SP has very expansive and luxuriant facilities like AC car, Bunglaw, Constables, and much more. 

The facilities provided to a state police SP justify the nature of work that is done by him because state police SP has a very hectic work profile. He may have to be on duty even in the night and for about 3-4 days in a week, he will have to go out of his house in the night for any emergency. But in contrast, such a situation rarely comes before a CBI SP simply because the law and order situation is not the domain of CBI.


A CBI SP is promoted to the post of SSP DIG in about 8 years and subsequent promotions are accordingly done based on the vacancies available. The general time frame is the same – 8 to 9 years for a post, give or take 1 or 2 years.

The promotions of the officers coming on deputation to CBI from state police are done by their parent cadre and then they are promoted in CBI when a vacancy arises.

Final Verdict

If you want a peaceful and relaxed life, then the post of CBI SP is better for you. There’s one more scenario where CBI SP may be a good choice. 

Suppose you are a resident of Delhi or UP or some nearby state. Also, assume that you become an IPS but are posted away in south India but you want to badly work closer to home. Then it is a better option for you to work for 3-4 years in your parent cadre and then come to CBI on deputation. It will at least ensure that you remain in Delhi for the most part closer to home. It will also give you some respite from the extremely hectic work of an IPS in the state police. 

If you want to experience true power, then local police SP is your best bet. You should clear the UPSC civil services exam and become an IPS officer. That’s a better option. 

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