The Central Bureau of Investigation has its origin in the Special Police Establishment (SPE) which was established in 1941 by the Government of India. The functions of the SPE were to check out cases of bribery and corruption in transactions with the War & Supply Deptt. Of India during World War II. Superintendence of the SPE was entrusted to the War Department. Even after the end of the war, the requirement for a Central Federal government agency to investigate instances of bribery and also corruption by Central Government employees was felt. The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act was as a result brought into force in 1946. This Act moved the superintendence of the SPE to the Home Department, and its functions were extended to cover all divisions of the Govt. of India. The territory of the SPE extended to all the Union Territories and might also be extended to the States with the permission of the State Federal government concerned.
The Delhi Special Police Establishment got its prominent current name, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), with a resolution of the Home Ministry dated 1.4.1963. Initially, the offenses that were notified by the Central Government associated only to corruption by Central Govt. servants. Eventually, with the establishment of a lot of public sector undertakings, the workers of these undertakings were additionally brought under CBI purview. In a similar way, with the nationalization of the banks in 1969, the Public Sector Banks and also their employees also came within the ambit of the CBI.
The first Director of the CBI was Shri D.P. Kohli who governed from 1st April 1963 to 31st May 1968. Besides, he was Inspector-General of Police of the Special Police Establishment from 1955 to 1963. From 1965 onwards, the CBI has also been handed over with the examination of Economic Offences and essential standard crimes such as murders, kidnapping, terrorist crimes, etc., on a case to case basis. Apart from this, the Supreme court and also the numerous High Courts of the country also began handing over such cases for investigation to the CBI on petitions filed by aggrieved parties. Taking into account the fact that a number of cases falling under this classification were being occupied for investigation by the CBI, it was discovered suitable to entrust such cases to the Branches having local jurisdiction. It was for that reason it was determined in 1987 to make up two investigation divisions in the CBI, namely, Special Crimes Division and Anti-Corruption Division, the former managing standard criminal offenses, besides financial offenses.