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Administration mulls for separation of prosecution from J&K Police
12/8/2019 11:57:10 PM

Early Times Report

Jammu, Dec 8: The perfection of the system is the ultimate goal of administration. A constant endeavor is being made to cleanse the system. It is a Rule of Natural Justice - "that no one should be Judge of his own cause". The said rule had become victim, when the police prosecutors used to present and contest cases, in the court of law during the trial, in which they had remained the part of investigation.
The recent creation of Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh also brings along-with it, the parting of Prosecution Agency from J&K Police. This is a healthy step in a developed democratic set-up, where the independence of an institution is ensured. Earlier the Prosecution Agency was being controlled and administered by the Executive Police-man. The Prosecutors had not only to work under their command, but had also to perform law and order duties. The time had witnessed the absence of Prosecutors from the Court proceedings on the ground that they had been deployed on VVIP duties or other law and order duties. The creation of separate Directorate of Prosecution has not only given identity to the Prosecutors but has also made them to act as real Prosecutors in the Court without being answerable to their earlier police bosses. In fact before separation, the Prosecution Agency was being fed by police department. They were not provided with any drawing and disbursing powers. Even for a single pen or other stationery items they had to put requirement before the District Police Officers. These learned prosecutors were made as subordinates to Executive Police Officers; and had to work to the satisfaction of their ex-police bosses, irrespective of the legal position contained in the law of the land.
In a discussion with the Prosecutors of 1998 batch, it has been revealed that since they had joined the service, they and are drawing the salaries in the same pay grade pay grade, despite being promoted twice. The Prosecutors had always been promoted in their own pay and grade by the Police Headquarters J&K, even those Executive Police Officer, who had joined after ten years to the above mentioned Prosecutors are now drawing higher grades and salaries. The PHQ J&K has always kept on changing the seniority of Prosecutors, according to their convenience, which has created chaos and confusion among the Prosecution Cadre as a such, the same led to a chapter of litigations amongst Prosecutors - regarding their seniority issues and this litigation is now pending in the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. In the meanwhile, during the pendency of the litigation, some Prosecutors have already been retired without being confirmed on the posts on which they had been working.
Now these Prosecutors are having positive hopes in the new set up. Now with the intervention of senior most officers of the Home Department, the Prosecutors are resolving their seniority issues and there is a sanguine hope that in very recent future the mess of seniority and litigations will be resolved and they shall be finally confirmed against the posts they are presently working.
The society at large has also welcomed the separation of Prosecution Services from the Police Department. However, there are still some doubts with regard to the working of prosecutiors in the courts. As per the Govt. orders the Prosecutors, upto the rank of Chief Prosecuting Officers have been designated as Public Prosecutors, Addl.Public Prosecutors and Asstt. Public Prosecutors and were allotted individual courts, but the moot question which remains to be answered is that whether there is sufficient staff/officers to monitor the working of the Prosecutors at District as well as at range/zone levels. As per the Govt. orders the Deputy Directors have been assigned the duties to supervise and monitor the working of these prosecutors, but there are only seven Dy. Director Prosecution at present for 20 Districts of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory and it is not, feasible rather possible for these few officers to supervise the working of each Prosecutor, when the quantum of criminal cases is so high in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, there are lacs of criminal cases pending trial in various courts. The supervision of these cases, requires sufficient number of Supervisory senior officers from Jammu and Kashmir Prosecution Service at all levels i.e District, Range, Zone and State level so that desired targets/results could be achieved effectively and a strict supervision upholds the majesty of law. Just creation of JK Prosecution Service without providing requisite strength, logistics and resources will yield nothing and can lead to crippling of criminal justice system in the newly created Union Territory.
Apart from this professionalism is required to be imparted in these Prosecutors, who were earlier trained in Police Training Academy and subjected to various drills and weapon training as that of other Police Officers. There is an urgent need for the establishment of training centre/Prosecution Academy for the training of Prosecutors. The provision should be kept, by the Govt. regarding the manning of such Academy by the Officers of J&K Prosecution Service only. The postings of the officer as Principal, vice principal assisted by other officers shall purely be made on the merit basis as well as keeping in view the other professional expertise of these officers. A serious effort of the Govt. in this regard shall lead to professional working and answerability in the newly formed cadre.
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