Functionaries under CrPC and their powers

functionaries under the Criminal Procedure Code

The Code of Criminal Procedure,1973 have various functionaries for the proper functioning of the Code. These functionaries are essential and important part of the CrPC, each functionary imposed of powers and functions. The various functionaries under the Criminal Procedure Code are Police, Prosecutors, Court, Defense Council and Prison Authority and Correctional Services.

The Police

The definition of term Police is not defined in the Criminal Procedure Code, therefore it is defined in the Police Act,1861. The Police officer is responsible for maintaining the law and order of the nation and they have the power to enforce laws and orders. The Central as well the State Governments provides for setting up their organisations. In Prakash Singh v.Union of India[i], the guidelines regarding the reorganization of the police was given by the Court. The major function of the police is to prevent crimes and maintain peace in the society

Section 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with the power to arrest a person without warrant and the person shall not be detained for more than 24hours from his arrest. It is necessary to produce him before the Magistrate. The Police officer has the power to record statements made orally in the commission of the cognizable offence[ii]When the cognizable offence happened against women under the certain provisions of the Section154, then the statement shall be recorded by a women police officer only. Under Section156 of Code, it gives power to the police in charge of the cognizable offence within their jurisdiction to investigate into the case without the order of a Magistrate.


Section 24 and Section 25 of the Criminal Procedure Code defines the appointment and qualifications of the Public Prosecutor and Assistant Public Prosecutor. The Central Government and the State Government are empowered with the power to appoint prosecutors for conducting prosecution for state and other proceedings in High Court, Sessions Court or Court of Magistrate.

Public Prosecutor In High Court

The Central and State Government after the consultation with the High Court appoints a Public Prosecutor and Additional Public Prosecutor. They are appointed to conduct the prosecution and other proceedings of the State or Central Government.[iii]A Public Prosecutor or an Additional Public Prosecutor can be appointed if he has not less than seven years of practice as an advocate.

In Sessions Court

The District Magistrate(Collector) in consultation with the Sessions Court Judge prepare a panel of names of persons who are eligible to be the Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor of the Sessions Court. The State Government need to appoint the Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor by the panel of names. Both the Central and the State government can appoint one or more Public prosecutor and Additional Public Prosecutor for the SessionsnCourt.To appoint as a Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor, the advocate must have practice not less than seven years.

In Abdul Khader v. The State Of Kerala, [iv]it was held that a district Magistrate cannot delete a person name from the panel as it is was recommended by the Sessions Judge and he cannot add the name of a person to the appointment of Additional Public Prosecutor without the consultation of Sessions Judge.

Special Public Prosecutor

A special public prosecutor can be appointed in special circumstances. The Central Government and the State Government appoints the Special Public Prosecutor for the prosecution of any case, the prosecutor must have experience not less than 10 years as an advocate.

Assistant Public Prosecutor

The State Government can appoint Assistant Public Prosecutor for the prosecution of cases in different districts. Under Section 125 of the Code, The state can appoint an assistant public prosecutor. They have only the right to do prosecution for the state and cannot practice as an advocate independently. He is considered a full-time government servant. If there are no public prosecutors available for a case, the collector of the district can appoint assistant public prosecutor in charge of that case. A police officer can be appointed as an assistant public prosecutor, he shall not be an officer below the rank of Inspector.


The Court are classified into various classes of Criminal Courts under CrPc, and the Court as a Judicial Authority is the important part of the judicial administration of the State. Section 6 of the Criminal Procedure Code,1973 describes the following criminal courts:

  • Court of Session
  • Judicial Magistrate of First Class
  • Judicial Magistrate of Second Class
  • Executive Magistrate

The Supreme Court and High Court comes under Criminal Jurisdiction, but they are the Courts which have appellate jurisdiction. High Court, Court of Sessions or any other Court mentioned in First Schedule of the Code can trial offences under Indian Penal Code[v].From Section 28 to 30 of Code states the sentences that can be passed by different Courts with the procedure of trial.

The Defence Counsel

Article 22 of The Indian Constitution provides free legal aid to the accused. A person who was arrested by the police has the right to defend with the help of Counsel. When the accused arrested with the restriction of his liberty thus the person has the right to defend it and it consists of an essential right. Section 303 of the Criminal Procedure Code deals with the right to appoint a defence counsel. Incase if the accused is not appointed with a defence counsel, the Court can ask questions in cross-examination to find the truth and can evaluate into the evidence submitted.

In-State of Madhya Pradesh v. Shobharam[vi], it was held that if any law seizes the right to defend, it is considered as against Article 22 the right guaranteed under the Constitution of India.

Prison Authorities and Correctional Services Personnel

The Prison Act,1900 is implemented to govern into the proceedings of the prison authorities. This authority does not come under the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Act is introduced to provide powers to the prison officer to detain the convicted person. Section 3 of the Prison Act, gives the power for the officer in charge to detain he convicted person until the end of imprisonment period. The prison workers are fixed by the Management Correctional Services and State Government has powers to appoint the prison authority.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the Functionaries under CrPC?

The various functionaries under the Criminal Procedure Code are Police, Prosecutors, Court, Defense Council and Prison Authority and Correctional Services.

“The views of the authors are personal


[i] Writ Petition(Civil) 310 of 1996

[ii] Section 154, Criminal Procedure Code 1973

[iii] Section 24(1), Criminal Procedure Code 1973

[iv] 1992 (2) KLT 948

[v] Section 26, Criminal Procedure Code 1973

[vi] 1966 110 SC

Malavika P
My name is Malavika P and I am from Nehru Academy of Law Kerala ,pursuing BBA LL.B(Hons.).I am interested in Criminal Laws,Constitutional Laws and Media Laws.During my free time I used to research on new topics and learn about it.I spend my time mostly watching thriller movies and also reading classic fictions.I would love to try new food and I am passionate about cooking, it is really a great experience that makes me happy always.