Criminal Prosecution Services of Pakistan

Introduction In Pakistan, public prosecution is a provincial subject. Thus, matters pertaining to administration and financial control of the prosecution service are within the purview of the provincial government. On the other hand, matters pertaining to rules of procedure and duties of prosecutors at criminal trials are governed by the Criminal Procedure Code of 1898. The prosecution service throughout had remained under the home department, and had been regulated by the police from which the public prosecutors and deputy public were drawn from the ranks of deputy superintendents of police and inspectors.

Under no condition was any officer below the rank of sub-inspector authorized to act as a prosecutor in any case. In 1985, for the first time the prosecution was transferred from the administrative control of the police department and placed under the law department. the designations of prosecutors working as public prosecutors and deputy public prosecutors were changed to district attorneys and deputy district attorneys.

In 1994, the prosecution service was transferred back to the administrative control of the police. the district attorney and other designated law officers were transferred back to the police department at the same level as deputy superintendents of police, inspectors and sub inspectors. In 2002, prior to the coming into force of the police order 2002, the prosecution service was again taken out of the administrative control of the police department and placed under the provincial law department. Organizational Hierarchy of Criminal Prosecution Services Presently, criminal prosecution services of a province are headed by the prosecutor general. The organizational hierarchy of criminal prosecution services is as under;

a. Prosecutor General b. Additional Prosecutors General c. Deputy Prosecutors General d. District Public Prosecutors e. Deputy District Public Prosecutors f. Assistant District Public Prosecutors A public prosecutor, an additional prosecutor general and a deputy prosecutor general perform their functions under the control and supervision of the prosecutor general. Subject to the general control of the prosecutor general, all other prosecutors within a district are under the control and supervision of the district public prosecutor. Prosecutor General.

The provincial government appoints a prosecutor general, who is the head of the service, on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the government. The prosecutor general hold office for a non-extendable period of three years. He may resign from his post during the tenure of his office by submitting his resignation in writing to the government. Whereas, the provincial government may, for reasons to be recorded in writing and after providing him an opportunity of being heard, remove the prosecutor general prior to the completion of his tenure, on the ground of misconduct or physical infirmity.

The prosecutor general have a right of representation and audience on behalf of the provincial government in all courts including the high court, the federal shariat court and the supreme court. The prosecutor general may delegate any of his functions to an additional prosecutor general or to a deputy prosecutor general. Additional Prosecutors General and Deputy Prosecutors General The Provincial Government may appoint Additional Prosecutors General and Deputy Prosecutors General to conduct criminal cases in the Supreme Court, the High Court, the Federal Shariat Court or any other Special Court.

District Public Prosecutor The provincial government appoints a district public prosecutor in each district, the officer incharge of the prosecution in the district. He conducts the criminal cases in district and session’s court, and special courts e. g anti terrorism, anti corruption and anti narcotics. Deputy District Prosecutors. They normally prosecute criminal cases in the additional session’s courts. Assistant District Prosecutors They generally prosecute the criminal cases in the courts of the judicial magistrates. Appointment of Prosecutors.

All the appointments, except that of the prosecutor general, to various posts in the service are to be made through initial recruitment whereas, at least fifty percent appointments on the posts of additional prosecutor general and deputy prosecutor general are to be made through promotion. No direct recruitment is to be made on regular basis to the posts of district public prosecutor, deputy district public prosecutor, assistant district prosecutor, additional prosecutor general and deputy prosecutor general except on the recommendation of the provincial public service commission:

Functions of the Prosecutors 1. The Prosecutors are responsible for the conduct of prosecution on behalf of the Government. 2. The prosecutor general or if so authorized by him, an additional prosecutor general distribute work to the prosecutors in the supreme court, the high court, the federal shariat court or a special court established under any law for the time being in force. 3. A district public prosecutor distributes work to the prosecutors with respect to the courts of session and courts of magistrates within a district.

4. A police report including a report of cancellation of the first information report or a request for discharge of a suspect or an accused is to be submitted to a Court through the Prosecutor. 5. The Prosecutor scrutinize the report or the request and may ; a. Return the same within three days to the officer incharge of police station or investigation officer, as the case may be, if he finds the same to be defective, for removal of such defects as may be identified by him; or b. If it is fit for submission, file it before the Court of competent jurisdiction. 6. On receipt of an interim police report the Prosecutor; a.

Examine the reasons assigned for the delay in the completion of investigation and if he considers the reasons compelling, request the Court for the postponement of trial and in case investigation is not completed within reasonable time, request the Court for commencement of trial; and b.

In cases where reasons assigned for delay in the completion of investigation are not compelling, request the Court for commencement of trial on the basis of the evidence available on record. 7. A prosecutor may submit to the court results of his scrutiny in writing as to the available evidence and applicability of offences against all or any of the accused as per facts and circumstances of the case. Powers of Prosecutors 1.

The Prosecutor General may issue general guidelines to the Prosecutors or officers responsible for investigation for effective and efficient prosecution. 2. The Prosecutor General or the District Public Prosecutor may, refer to the authority, competent to initiate disciplinary proceedings under any law for the time being in force, to take disciplinary action against any public servant working in connection with investigation or prosecution, for any act committed by him and is prejudicial to the prosecution.

3. A Prosecutor may–a. Exercise all or any of the powers mentioned in section 9; b. call for a report within a specified time from any officer of law enforcing agency in relation to an investigation; c. Call for record or any other document within a specified time from a law enforcement agency and if necessary, from any other government department or agency as may be necessary for the purposes of prosecution. d.

Perform such functions and exercise such powers as may be entrusted to him under the code and any other law for the time being in force.e. With the consent of the court, withdraw from prosecution of any person either generally or in respect of any one or more of the offences for which he is being tried, after obtaining prior approval of. i. The district public prosecutor, where the offence is punishable up to three years. ii. The prosecutor general, where the offence is punishable upto seven years; and iii. The government, in all other offences and for the offences triable by the special courts. f.

At any stage of a trial before any trial court subordinate to the high court before the judgment is passed, the prosecutor general or any prosecutor specifically authorized by him, may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, inform the court on behalf of the government that the prosecutor shall not prosecute the accused upon the charge and thereupon all proceedings against the accused shall be stayed and he shall be discharged of and from the same, provided that such discharge shall not amount to an acquittal unless the court directs otherwise.

Conduct of prosecution before Superior Courts Without prejudice to the powers conferred under any law on the office of the attorney general of pakistan and the advocate general, the prosecutor general and the additional prosecutor general may depute any prosecutor, otherwise qualified, for conducting prosecution before the supreme court, the high court or the federal shariat court. The prosecutor general shall keep liaison with the office of the attorney general of pakistan and the advocate general in relation to criminal matters pending in any such court.a.