A Public Prosecutor is a legal representative of the government either to Central Government or Stare Government, in a criminal trial case brought against an accused person. They are recognised as legal professionals by the court in which they intent to represent the society. They are duly bound to assist the judge in the administration of justice. They serve on the basic principle of Rule of Law i.e. anld alteran partem which means to “no person shall be condemned unheard”.
The Public Prosecutor is defined under section 2(u) of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 as:-
“A person who is appointed under section 24 of Code of Criminal Procedure, and includes any person acting under the direction of a Public Prosecutor.”
A Public Prosecutor needs to follow the following basic principles:-
Presumption of innocence,
Right to life and personal liberty,
Equity before the law.
Protection against double jeopardy.
Protection against ex-post-facto law.
Protection against self- incrimination.
APPOINTMENT OF A PUBLIC PROSECUTOR
The main objective to appoint a public prosecutor is to provide justice to an individual or a group of people who has been affected by a crime. Any Crime or any criminal activity which is committed against an individual or against a group of people assumed to be committed against the society.
Classes of Public Prosecutor:-
Public Prosecutor appointed by Central Government or State Government,
Additional Public Prosecutor appointed by State Government,
Special Public Prosecutor appointed by Central Government or State Government.
A Public Prosecutor shall be appointed under section 24 of Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, as follows:-
According to section 24(1), for every High Courts in India, the Central government or State government shall appoint a public prosecutor with consultation with the high court for conducting the prosecution appeal or other proceedings in such high court cases on behalf of Central Government or State Government.
According to section 24(2), for any District Court, the State Government shall appoint a public prosecutor or an additional public prosecutor conducting the prosecution appeal or other proceedings in such courts on behalf of State Government.
According to section 24(3), for a Magistrate Court, the District Magistrate shall prepare a panels of persons who are to be appointed as the Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor with the consultation with the Session Judge.
According to section 24(4), the State Government should not appoints a person as The Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor for the district courts unless his/her name is in the panels of names prepared by the District Magistrate under sub-section 3 of section 24 of CrPC.
According to section 24(5), a person shall be eligible for to be appointed as a Public Prosecutor or an Additional Public Prosecutor under sub-section (1) and sub-section (2) of section 24, only if he/she has been experience of practicing as an advocate for minimum seven years.
According to section 24(6), An advocate shall be appointed as a Special Public Prosecutor by the Central Government or State Government who has been experience of practicing as an advocate for minimum ten years.
OTHER LAWS REGARDING THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR
According to section 225 of Code of Criminal Procedure, in every trial before a session court, the prosecution must be conducted by a Public Prosecutor.
According to section 301 of Code of Criminal Procedure, a Public Prosecutor or an Additional Public Prosecutor who is in charge of a case may appear and plead before any court in which that case is being under trail, without having any written authority.
A Public Prosecutor or an Assistant Public Prosecutor in charge of a case may withdraw from such case before the judgment is pronounced, the prosecution of any person in respect of any one or more than one offences for which he has been tried before the court, if it is made :-
(a) before a charge has been framed,
(b) after a charge has been framed, or when no charge is required under this code, he shall be acquitted in respect of such offence.
Radheshyam vs. State of M.P & Ors,
In this case, The high court of Madhya Procured stated that, a special Public Prosecutor shall be appointed only when the administration of justice is required. They cannot be appoint on the request of the complainant. And his remuneration is to he paid by the state only as because if it is being paid by the private party, then his role as a Public Prosecutor will be endangered. The government shouldn’t appoint a Special Public Prosecutor in such terms, directing him to receive his remuneration from any private individual.
Antu Mahadu Dhavade V State of Maharashtra
In this case, the Bombay High Court stated that the function of a Public Prosecutor is to bring the truth before the court and not merely to beg a conviction from the court. Is such cases, the State Government may be directed by the Supreme Court to appoint other Public Prosecutor.
Jitendra Kumar @Ajju vs. State (NCT OF Delhi)
In this case, The High Court of Delhi stated that “A Public Prosecutor acts on the behalf of the state and are the ministers of justice who play a pivot role in the administration of criminal justice”.
Sandeep Kumar Bafna vs. State of Maharashtra & others
In this case, The Hon’ble Apex court stated that “a Public Prosecutor is not be expected to show a thirst to reach the case in the conviction of the accused somehow or other irrespective of the facts of the case. The attitude of the Public Prosecutor must be fair towards the investigating agencies and as well as towards the accused too”.
The duty of a Public Prosecutor is to present all the available evidences irrespective to the fact before the court, whether that evidence is against the accused or in favour of the accused, in order to find out the truth. The guiding principle for any Public Prosecutor must be the justice, equity and a good conscience not only the letter of law. A public prosecutor is expected to act impartially and present all the facts, documents, and evidence of a case so as to assist the court to gave a fair and a correct judgement. The criminal justice system requires a degree of sensitivity towards both victims and offenders, and a law enforcement system would be considered effective if it succeeds in balancing the interests of the victims and the defendants.