ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Misunderstood Public Prosecutor

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In the Indian public perception, the concept of prosecution is rather straightforward. It refers to the securing of a conviction and ensuring that the accused gets the maximum possible sentence. Often, in the strong tide of emotions and feelings that characterise the aftermath of heinous crimes that gain traction in the media, the prosecutor is seen as the personification of social vengeance. The media hangs on to every word of the often triumphant public prosecutor as he emerges from the courtroom after securing a conviction in a high-profile case. The end goal of the public prosecutor
is seen as securing punishment for the accused (especially in cases where the public opinion demands such punishment). The yardstick for the effective public prosecutor in the Indian legal ecosystem, therefore, becomes ensuring that the maximum number of convictions, and if possible, death sentences are handed down by the courts.

In line with this manufactured narrative of the “effective prosecutor,” the Madhya Pradesh (MP) government has recently announced a scheme by which credits are given to prosecutors in cases where death sentence and life imprisonment are awarded. This line of thinking, while often based on good intentions of securing “justice,” is patently flawed in its jurisprudential and ethical bases.

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Updated On : 12th Oct, 2018

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