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DB dismisses PIL against establishment of Directorate of Prosecution
9/22/2022 11:29:25 PM

Early Times Report

Jammu, Sept 22: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has dismissed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking quashment of order passed to establish Directorate of Prosecution.
It’s in place to mention here that the government had passed an order in 2019 to establish Directorate of Prosecution by creating separate prosecution service to be known as "J&K Prosecution Service" in so far as it comprises the members of J&K Police (Gazetted) service (Prosecution wing) and Prosecuting officers (Non-Gazetted) as its members.
Another order was passed whereby former members of J&K Police Gazetted Service (Prosecution Wing) were to be engaged as Deputy Director(s) (Prosecution) after the establishment of Directorate of Prosecution.
A PIL challenging these orders was filed in the High Court. The Division Bench of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court while dismissing the PIL , observed that this Court had considered all the submissions with reference to the amended provisions and are of the considered view that none of the submissions are justified in view of the amended provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, as applicable to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and all appointments have been made as per the amended provisions.
“ This takes us to the writ petition [WP(C) No. 4563 of 2019] which has been filed by those appointed as Assistant Public Prosecutors under Section 25 of the Cr.P.C., 1973. Their main grievance is that they are Police Officers governed by the Police Rules and by virtue of their appointment as Assistant Public Prosecutors, their condition of service has been changed without offering them any opportunity to say whether they want to continue as Prosecuting Officers and Senior Prosecuting Officers or preferred to join as Assistant Public Prosecutors. However, it is not possible to say how the condition of their service has been changed because they were appointed as Public Prosecutors by the State and the nature of the job remained the same. Though nomenclature has been changed even their allowances and perks have remained same by virtue of order constituting the Jammu and Kashmir Prosecuting Service,” the DB observed.
The DB observed that moreover, in rest of the Country, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 was enforced in 1974 and in Jammu & Kashmir with effect from 31.10.2019, so the Prosecution Service came only after the Reorganization Act. It has been organized by establishing the Directorate of Prosecution. Even otherwise, it is the command of Sections 24, 25 and 25A of Cr.P.C., 1973. The nomenclature has been changed because of statutory conditions prescribed in the Cr.P.C. Whether there will be change in their conditions of service or increase in pay scale, is a matter which is yet to be decided by the department and in case, they suffer from any disadvantage, at the time of fixation of their pay scale or seniority, they will be entitled to challenge the same.
The DB observed that at present, this writ petition is premature, as there is nothing to show how they are likely to suffer because the change in their status from the Police Officers to Assistant Public Prosecutors, which is, in fact, for their betterment. This petition is, therefore, premature and does not hold any merit at this stage.
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