“Whether a Panel Lawyer may appear in the Court before the High Court in criminal matters like Criminal Appeals, Bail Applications, Criminal Revisions, application for suspension of sentence, even without having the practice of a minimum of seven years and without the consultation with the High Court as required under Section 24 (1) of Cr.P.C.?” — This was questioned by the Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla to the State & Centre.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Tuesday expressed extreme concern on contractually appointed Panel Lawyers without the needful 7 years of skilled representing the State Government in critical criminal topics like criminal appeals, suspension of sentences, bail applications, etc.
Keeping in mind the relevant sections – S. 24(1) and 24(7) of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, there are a few important takeaways about the appointment and eligibility of a Public Prosecutor.
Also, if we focus on the earlier precedents set by the court, a set of questions arises. Mainly —
• If a prosecutor is appointed for each court in all counties of the state to handle criminal matters, and if not, if multiple courts are assigned to an available prosecutor, and if so, give details of them?
• What number of posts withinside the cadre of Additional District Prosecution Officers, District Prosecution Officers and Deputy Director are standing vacant withinside the State?
Standing Counsel Siddharth R. Gupta additionally shed light upon the issues in listening to criminal appeals of public importance, while they’re now no longer correctly assisted through Counsels meeting the required eligibility standards of Section 24 CrPC, 1973.
Amicus Curiae Advocate Aditya Sanghi stated that the quota for which Public Prosecutors need to be preferably appointed need to be constant for as a minimum three years and it ought to now no longer be only on the discretion of the political dispensation.
By Team SLC, Khushi Kundu (Amity Law School, Kolkata)