Saturday, December 10, 2022

Haryana's prosecution directorate comes under legal scanner

PUNJABNEWSLINE | April 19, 2022 10:05 AM

CHANDIGARH: The Directorate of Prosecution in Haryana which officially is not a Department although often termed as such however it actually comes under the Administration of Justice (AoJ) Department has come under legal scanner after an Advocate at Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Hemant Kumar, has written to State Government over non-compliance of Section 25 A of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973 in the State which specifically provides for organizational structure of such Directorate in every State. The aforesaid provision mandates one Director of Prosecution (DoP) and as many Deputy Directors as State Government thinks fit.

In Haryana, the relevant Group A Service Rules of State's Prosecution Legal Service only provide for two posts of Additional Director but not even a single post of Deputy Director as prescribed for the reasons best known to it.

Interestingly, in February this year, the aforesaid Rules were amended making provision for two posts of DoP, one DoP (General) and one DoP (Special). This was done since an Additional Director, Sukhbir Singh, approached High Court last year praying for his appointment as DoP since current DoP Narsher Singh has completed more than 3 years as such and June, 2018 issued Haryana Government policy instructions prescribe appointment of next junior officer to post of Head of Department (HoD) after an incumbent completes 3 years tenure. Since Narsher, who was appointed as DoP in Mar, 2016 and his superannuation is till Oct, 2025, hence State wants him to post as DoP- Special, an analogous post to DoP- General, who would actually be the Head of Prosecution Directorate.

Meanwhile, Hemant in his complaint to the State Government has averred that since Sec 25 A CrPC has not been suitably amended or entirely substituted by Haryana Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) till date as has been done in States of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and UT of Jammu & Kashmir, hence the prevalent Sec 25 A of CrPC would apply to the State of Haryana as such and the State Government would have to strictly comply the same as such in entirety as it exists.

Apart from creating two posts of Director rank in the Prosecution Directorate as against one prescribed in Sec 25 CrPC, Service Rules in Haryana also don't provide for even a single post of Deputy Director in Directorate.

Hemant asserts that even other sections of Section 25 A CrPC are not being meticulously complied with in Haryana including non- subordination of Public Prosecutors (PPs), Additional Public Prosecutors (Addl. PPs) and Special Public Prosecutors (SPPs) appointed by the State Government under relevant sub-sections of Section 24 CrPC to conduct cases in the High Court under the Director of Prosecution. Currently, PPs and Addl. PPs. appointed/designated by Haryana Government Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh are primarily Law Officers engaged( read on contractual basis) in Office of Advocate General, Haryana, hence they are subordinate to Advocate General for the State of Haryana and not Director of Prosecution, Haryana which otherwise should be under Section 25 (5) CrPC, 1973.

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