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Deepak Aggarwal vs Keshav Kaushik & Ors. on 21 January, 2013
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8. It will be convenient at this stage to refer to some other provisions which have bearing in the matter and are relevant for the purpose of these appeals. Section 2(u) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (for short, ‘Cr.P.C.’) defines ‘Public Prosecutor’ to mean any person appointed under Section 24 and includes any person acting under the directions of a Public Prosecutor. Section 24 deals with ‘Public Prosecutors’. It reads as under:

(9) For the purposes of sub-section (7) and sub-section (8), the period during which a person has been in practice, as a pleader, or has rendered (whether before or after the commencement of this Code) service as a Public Prosecutor or as an Additional Public Prosecutor or Assistant Public Prosecutor or other Prosecuting Officer, by whatever name called, shall be deemed to be the period during which such person has been in practice as an advocate

11. Section 2(7) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (for short, ‘CPC’) defines ‘government pleader’. According to this provision, ‘government pleader’ includes any officer appointed by the State Government to perform all or any of the functions expressly imposed by the CPC on the government pleader and also any pleader acting under the directions of the government pleader.

23. Mr. P.P. Rao, learned senior counsel who led the arguments on behalf of the appellants, argued that Article 233(2) of the Constitution is a self-contained Code. Service of a Public Prosecutor or an Assistant Public Prosecutor or a Government Pleader does not render a person ineligible for appointment as a District Judge if he has been for not less than seven years an advocate or a pleader. According to him, it is open to the State to appoint a Government Pleader in terms of Section 2(7) of C.P.C. for conducting civil cases and Public Prosecutors under Section 24 of Cr.P.C. for criminal cases on mutually agreed terms, either on a case to case basis or piece-rate basis for each item of work done or on a tenure basis or on a permanent basis. Though called ‘appointment’, it is in reality and in substance an engagement of an advocate for conducting cases in courts. Advocates with experience are only eligible for these posts and even after appointment as Government Pleader or Public Prosecutor or Assistant Public Prosecutor or Assistant District Attorney, their job is exclusively or mainly to conduct cases as advocates in courts. The nature of their functions remains the same. They are always Officers of the Court.