Supreme Court Notice Issued On
Plea Challenging Appointment
Of Police Officers As Public
Prosecutors In Jammu & Kashmi

The Supreme Court in the case Amit Pathania vs UOI observed and has issued a notice in a plea challenging the appointment of police officers as public prosecutors in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. The bench comprising of Justice MR Shah and Justice CT Ravikumar in the case observed and has sought the responses of the Centre and J&K administration after hearing the matter briefly. In the present case, the plea has been filed by one Amit Pathania, wherein challenging the judgement delivered by the J&K High Court regarding a decision of the government in 2019 for establishing a “Directorate of Prosecution” by creating a separate prosecution service comprising of J&K police persons and appointing them as Deputy Directors, the Public Prosecutors or the Assistant Public Prosecutors and so on. The petition stated that it is being violative of section 24, section 25 and section 25A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which was also being applicable in the UT post the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 and was against the spirit of fair trial enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It has also been stated in the plea filed that the espondents exercised their powers in an unlawful, unconstitutional and arbitrary manner, a day before the Code of Criminal Procedure was being scheduled to come into effect in the UT. The advocate appearing for the petitioner submitted before the court only an advocate who is having more than 7 years of practise can be appointed as public prosecutors. Further, it has been included by the government of Jammu & Kashmir erstwhile police officers by cessation of their status as police officers and included in this. The bench queried that what being wrong with it? The Advocate added, that the Police prosecutors can’t be termed as advocates, for being a public prosecutor, you need to be an advocate. He further added that when these police officers join police duty, they cease to be advocates. It has been experience by the Public Prosecutors in sessions courts. He argued that these persons have experience in magisterial courts. The bench observed that they are performing the same duties. It has also been pointed out by the Advocate that they would be hit by Rule 49 of Bar Council of India Rules, shortly after the court issues notice. Accordingly, the court listed the matter to be next heard on March 20. The counsels, Advocate Anupam Raina, Advocate AP Singh and Advocate Sunando Raha appeared for the petitioner.

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