DB dismisses PIL against establishment of Directorate of Prosecution

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 22: A Division Bench of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has dismissed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking quashment of Govt Order No. 1104-Home of 2019 dated 30-10-2019 whereby sanction was accorded to the establishment of Directorate of Prosecution by  creating separate prosecution service to be known as “J&K Prosecution Service”.
The quashment was sought in so far as it comprises the members of J&K Police (Gazetted) Service (Prosecution Wing) and Prosecuting Officers (Non-Gazetted) as its members. Further, the PIL sought quashment of Govt Order No. 01-Home of 2019 dated 31-10-2019 whereby Former members of J&K Police Gazetted Service (Prosecution Wing) have been engaged as Deputy Director(s) Prosecution after the establishment of Directorate of Prosecution.
While dismissing the PIL, the DB observed, “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 No. 4563 of 2019 which has been filed by those appointed as Assistant Public Prosecutors under Section 25 of the CrPC, 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”, the DB said, adding “though nomenclature has been changed even their allowances and perks have remained same by virtue of order constituting the Jammu and Kashmir Prosecuting Service”.
DB further observed, “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”, adding “it has been organized by establishing the Directorate of Prosecution. Even otherwise, it is the command of Sections 24, 25 and 25A of CrPC, 1973. The nomenclature has been changed because of statutory conditions prescribed in the CrPC. 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”.
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.