Anyone familiar with the working of district courts would agree that the judges, their staff and also the prosecutors posted in each court work as a team. The staff and the prosecutors adapt to the style of working of the presiding officer.
However, this leads to many judicial officers opting for a particular prosecutor over the other.
Some judges go to the extent of threatening the Directorate of Prosecution to write to the Delhi government or pass judicial orders in this regard.
The situation was brought to light by the Directorate of Prosecution in a communication sent to the office of District & Sessions Judge (head quarters) expressing concern over the conduct of judges following which a circular has been issued by District & Sessions judge (head quarters) Talwant Singh asking all judicial officers posted at district courts in Delhi to desist from insisting upon posting particular prosecuting officers or naib courts in their courts.
“Though the directorate provides all sorts of assistance for effective administration of criminal justice system, such demands by judges create hindrance in the smooth functioning of the system because it is not practically feasible on all occasions to fulfil the said demands of the judges of Delhi District Courts.
“Moreover, the practice of posting of a particular PP/ APP and naib court as per directions of the judges is creating difficulty in smooth functioning of the directorate,” the circular said.
The Directorate had also complained that few Additional Sessions Judges are reluctant to avail services of newly promoted Additional Public Prosecutors in their courts on the ground that they do not have sufficient experience.
The District and Sessions Judge (HQ) Talwant Singh also held meeting with the Director of Prosecution wherein he was informed that certain judges are even going to the extent of threatening to write letters to the Chief Secretary/ Home Secretary of the Delhi government in order to see their choice of prosecutor posted in their courts and in some cases, judicial orders have also been passed.
“All Learned Additional Sessions Judges/ Chief Metropolitan Magistrates/ Additional CMMs/ MMs are hereby advised to note that the Directorate of Prosecution is an independent agency which has to run its administration in an independent, legal and justified manner and it is the prerogative of the said office to allocate Public Prosecutors for representing the State before the criminal courts and there is no justification in demanding that a particular PP/ APP etc be appointed in a particular court or to refuse to allow newly promoted APPs to perform their duty in the Sessions court,” Singh said in the circular.
The circular also reminded the judicial officers that all correspondence with the office of the Chief Secretary or the Home Secretary has to be done through the office of the District and Sessions Judge (HQ).
“…the practice of passing judicial orders for posting of a particular PP in the court may kindly not be resorted to,” Singh reiterated.
The judicial officers were told to “allow the Directorate of Prosecution to perform its duties in a lawful, dignified and justified manner without creating any undue pressure upon the said office”.
The circular comes at a time when the Delhi High Court has also directed against same naib court being posted with same judge for years together as it reflects poorly on the justice delivery system.