Public Prosecutors

Public Prosecutors

Section 2(u) defines a Public Prosecutor in the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973, it is considered that a public prosecutor is appointed to prosecute for the aggrieved party. The State has to assign a prosecutor for the aggrieved person. Section 24 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Code defines the appointment and qualification of Public Prosecutor. The Central Government and the State Government are authorized to appoint prosecutors for conduction prosecution and other criminal proceedings. The public prosecutor needs to ensure that the criminal justice system is functioning as per the principles of equality of law, speedy trial, equal protection of laws and conscience.

The Public Prosecutor represents State and he is the Public servant under the State Government.he is not entitled to work independently or conduct the trials independently for the self benefits as he is imposed of statutory duties.No person can influence the prosecutor for withdrawing of case. The prosecutor has no right to reject the witness or the facts of the case.

A Public Prosecutor required to help the Court with examining of facts of the case as well as in finding of the facts of the case, the prosecutor must act following the fair and impartial way. He is an officer who works for the state for the administration of justice towards his duty in order with that the justice may be executed into the court during the time of prosecution of the case. In Babu v. the State of Kerala[i] it was stated that Public Prosecutors are bound to assist the judge in the administration of Justice.

Public Prosecutor Provisions Under Cr.P.C

Section 24 of the CrPc deals with the appointment of Public Prosecutor by Central and State  Government.

By virtue of Section 24(3) it deals with the appointment of Public Prosecutor in every district and also it states the appointment of Additional Public Prosecutor. The Advocate appointed by State as Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor  must the person from the panel prepared by the District Magistrate(Collector) in consultation with Sessions Judge[ii].The advocate who appointed as Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor  should have practice for less than seven years[iii].

In Abdul Khader v State Of Kerala[iv] it was held that District Magistrate has no power to delete a person recommended by Sessions Judge from the panel or he cannot add a person with the consultation of Sessions Judge. The appointment of Public Prosecutor must be in consultation with the Sessions Judge only. Section 24(5) states that if the name of the advocate is not listed in the panel, then he could not be appointed as a Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor.

Section 24(8) appointment of Special Public Prosecutor by the State Government as well as the Central Government for conducting of any cases. A person who has been in practice as an advocate for not less than ten years can be appointed. He can be appointed only in special circumstances and the Government consider more experienced advocate.

Appointing Special Public Prosecutor

In recent Maharashtra Government for Hinganghat Case, appointed Ujjwal Nikam as Special Public Prosecutor.

The Delhi Government appointed a Special Public Prosecutor under Section 24(8) of the Code in the Murder Case of Ankit Saxena Murder Case. The special prosecutors appointed were the senior lawyers, Rebecca Mammen John and Vishal Goshen.

The State Government appoints an Assistant Public Prosecutor for the prosecution in Magistrate Courts.[v]A police officer is not eligible to be appointed as Assistant Public Prosecutor but an officer not below the rank of Inspector can be appointed. Incase if Assistant Public Prosecutor is not available for a case, the District Magistrate can appoint Assistant Public Prosecutor. A person holding the office of  Assistant Public Prosecutor is not supposed to practice as a private lawyer.

Withdrawal Of Case: By section 321 of the Criminal Procedure Code it allows the Public Prosecutor as well as the Assistant Public Prosecutor to withdraw from the case with the permission of the Court. The request for permission should be presented before the judgement is declared.

In Zahira Habibullah v. the State of Gujarat [vi]it is the case known as “Best Bakery Case” the Supreme Court held that Public Prosecutors not focused on the truth before the Court as they considered more to the defence.

In Sandeep Kumar Bafna v. State of Maharashtra & Anr[vii] it was held that a Public Prosecutor must act fair towards the investigation department and to the accused. And he should prove the case for the conviction of the accused.

In Radheyshyam v. State of M.P & Ors[viii], here the Court stated that Special Public Prosecutor can be appointed for the administration of justice is necessary and not on the request of the complainant.

Public Prosecutor in investigation process and trial

The Public Prosecutor present before the court for obtaining the arrest warrant to arrest a person who is accused under a case and he obtain the search warrants for conduction of search in a specific area stated in the warrant. For initiating the proceedings regarding the non-traceable offender to declaring him as a proclaimed offender[ix]The obtaining of police custody remand of the accused of custody interrogation[x]

During the time of trial, the Public Prosecutor can argue with the issues and facts of the case to the judge for granting the punishment as to the gravity of the case. This is only possible when the case has proven that the accused is guilty of the facts and evidence produced.

Under Article 21 of Constitution Of India, it states the Right to Life and Personal Liberty that provided as a fundamental right for conducting a speedy trial. The Public Prosecutor can examine the witnesses for evidence to prove the case.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a Public Prosecutor?               

A public prosecutor is a person who conducts criminal proceedings on behalf of the state.

Who can appoint a Public Prosecutor?

Section 24 of the CrPc deals with the appointment of Public Prosecutor by Central and State  Government.

“The views of the authors are personal


[i] Criminal Appeal No.104 of 2009

[ii] Section 24(4) Code of Criminal Procedure

[iii] Section 24(7)Code of Criminal Procedure

[iv] 1992 (2) KLT 948

[v] Section Code of Criminal Procedure Code.

[vi] Crl. 446-449 of 2004

[vii] SLP (Crl.) No.1348 2014

[viii] 2000 (4) MPHT 124

[ix] Section 82 Code of Criminal Procedure

[x] Section167 Code of Criminal Procedure

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.