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Reconsider Private Detective Agencies Bill, Centre urged

Aditi R / TNN

Jan 20, 2021


Chennai: The Association of Professional Detectives and Investigators (APDI) has appealed to the Union ministry of home affairs to recognise their sector and reconsider introducing the Private Detective Agencies Regulation Bill 2007, which will help add credibility to the profession.

The bill was withdrawn recently from Parliament by the ministry stating there was no need to impose licensing on this sector in which there were very few operators.

“They should have consulted us before withdrawing. It is good for this noble profession,” said Kunwar Vikram Singh, president of APDI. Without recognition, detectives said they have been finding it difficult to carry out investigations.

Chennai alone has about 30 detective agencies that get about 30-40 cases a month, which includes corporate frauds, pre-employment investigation, land grabbing and matrimonial disputes. Sometimes they also help the local police.

“Unlike the state department officials, we can work without alerting people. This is why people need our services,” said N Madhaiyan, president of APDI (TN and Pondicherry chapters).

While the agencies face no dearth of finding employees, not all are able to sustain for long.

“Because there is not enough money in this profession,” said commander S Jagadeesan, general manager of Globe Detective Agency.

The investigators are usually paid on case basis, starting from Rs 7,000 and above. But given the fund crunch, Jagadeesan said, he makes it a point to inform new joiners to keep alternative sources of employment.

“We get plenty of applicants who are excited to work for a detective agency. They treat it like a Sherlock Holmes story. But the reality is quite different,” said Jagadeesan.

To stay afloat, a few agencies have also started security services. Currently, the detective agencies are operating under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution, which gives citizens the freedom to practice any profession of choice.

In the western and European countries private investigators also work with police and governments. But here they can be pulled up or sometimes even charged for conducting investigations. “We always take a letter from our clients permitting us to investigate and show it when required. But it doesn’t always work, because it is not lawfully accepted,” said Madhaiyan.

Recently, the association had written to the PMO offering their services to trace duplicate Covid-19 vaccines. “We hope the authorities at least have a meeting with us to discuss more,” said Madhaiyan.

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