Detectives’ No-Go areas

private-investigator-detective SHADOW

Considering the “poor law abiding habits” of people, the Union Home Ministry wants to limit the ambit of private detective agencies (PDA) by disallowing them to take up investigations into cases like marital discord pending with police, theft and white-collar crimes.

The Union Home Ministry has identified 16 areas that should be forbidden for private detectives, as it wants to ensure that the privacy of individual is not infringed and that it does not venture into areas of Intelligence Bureau, R&AW and CBI.

They should only be allowed to work in the private sector “within the restricted areas of work” and should not investigate into bona fide activities of the State, a draft Home Ministry report on recommendations of a Parliamentary panel on Private Detective Agencies (Regulation) Bill, 2007.

Following the Parliamentary panel report, then Home Secretary G K Pillai had opined in 2009 that there are “no major problems or controversies” surrounding such agencies and one should avoid further legislation if possible as India is “already an over legislated” country.


The Bill was then put on hold for a year and it “continues to be on hold”, the report said adding that a Committee under the Border Management Secretary was formed later to go into the panel report.

Underlying the need for regulating detective agencies, which could be around 700 employing around 15,000 people, the report said the central intelligence agencies have reported that such organisations were “proliferating and their areas of operations expanding”. They were offering a variety of services while there is no State scrutiny, it said.

“Such unregulated activities of PDAs have a huge potential for misuse and manipulation considering the poor law abiding habits of people in several parts of the country. As the activities of PDAs are often confidential in nature, it is necessary to safeguard the interest of citizens who are desirous of availing services of PDAs,” the report noted.

your friendly private investigator

While it can do asset investigation, pre-employment verification and market intelligence, the Ministry wants a bar on such agencies carrying out investigations into counterfeiting, environmental issues, financial investigation, forensic or handwriting analysis, intellectual property, court cases and missing persons.

These agencies should also be barred from carrying out undercover probe or investigations into cases, which are registered with police. However, they could conduct, pre-matrimonial background checking, security surveys and insurance fraud investigation.

The draft report also said that only Indian citizens should be allowed to become private detectives.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Nov 7, 2014)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: