KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has directed all the Principal District Judges to send a report regarding the appointment of public prosecutors for the conduct of criminal and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) cases in various courts in the districts.
An order issued by PM Suneera, Deputy Registrar stated that the District judges should file a report forthwith, regarding "the consultation made within the selection of public prosecutors and also the practices followed in the appointment of public prosecutors and special prosecutors for the conduct of criminal and POCSO cases."
The order was issued based on a suo motu case about the appointment of public prosecutors.
A Division Bench comprising Justice K Vinod Chandran and Justice Ziyad Rahman AA while dealing with an appeal filed by a convict in the POCSO case was appalled by the abject incompetence displayed by the prosecution.
The Bench had also directed the registry of the court to initiate suo motu case in the matter of appointment of public prosecutors.
The court observed that though the appointment of the public prosecutors is the prerogative of the government, there is no absolute freedom in so far as the same should be in consultation with the sessions judge as required under the provisions of the CrPC.
In practice, when an application for the appointment of prosecutors is called, the session judges prune it on the basis of the competence as displayed in the courts, invariably the district magistrates seek the entire applications to be sent to them for preparation of panel, who often does not have a clue as to the competence of a particular advocate. They cannot cherry-pick the advocates to be appointed as prosecutors based on political affiliations as the CrPC requires a consultation with the Session Judge, the court observed.