24 The Code of Criminal Procedure

Public Prosecutors

1[24. Public Prosecutors.-- (1) For every High Court, the Central Government or the State Government shall, after consultation with the High Court, appoint a Public Prosecutor and may also appoint one or more Additional Public Prosecutors, for conducting in such Court, any prosecution, appeal or other proceeding on behalf of the Central Government or State Government, as the case may be.

(2) The Central Government may appoint one or more Public Prosecutors for the purpose of conducting any case or class of cases in any district or local area.

(3) For every district, the State Government shall appoint a Public Prosecutor and may also appoint one or more Additional Public Prosecutors for the district:

Provided that the Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor appointed for one district may be appointed also to be a Public Prosecutor or an Additional Public Prosecutor, as the case may be, for another district.

(4) The District Magistrate shall, in consultation with the Sessions Judge, prepare a panel of names of persons, who are, in his opinion fit to be appointed as Public Prosecutors or Additional Public Prosecutors for the district.

(5) No person shall be appointed by the State Government as the Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor for the district unless his name appears in the panel of names prepared by the District Magistrate under sub-section (4).

(6) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (5), where in a State there exists a regular Cadre of Prosecuting Officers, the State Government shall appoint a Public Prosecutor or an Additional Public Prosecutor only from among the persons constituting such Cadre:

Provided that where, in the opinion of the State Government, no suitable person is available in such Cadre for such appointment that Government may appoint a person as Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor, as the case may be, from the panel of names prepared by the District Magistrate under sub-section (4).

2[Explanation.--For the purposes of this sub-section,--

(a) "regular Cadre of Prosecuting Officers" means a Cadre of Prosecuting Officers which includes therein the post of a Public Prosecutor, by whatever name called, and which provides for promotion of Assistant Public Prosecutors, by whatever name called, to that post;

(b) "Prosecuting Officer" means a person, by whatever name called, appointed to perform the functions of a Public Prosecutor, an Additional Public Prosecutor or an Assistant Public Prosecutor under this Code.]

(7) A person shall be eligible to be appointed as a Public Prosecutor or an Additional Public Prosecutor under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) or sub-section (6), only if he has been in practice as an advocate for not less than seven years.

(8) The Central Government or the State Government may appoint, for the purposes of any case or class of cases, a person who has been in practice as an advocate for not less than ten years as a Special Public Prosecutor:

3[Provided that the Court may permit the victim to engage an advocate of his choice to assist the prosecution under this sub-section.]

(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.]

STATE AMENDMENT

Karnataka--

Amendment of section 24.-- In section 24 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Central Act 2 of 1974) (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act) in sub-section (1),--

(i) the words and punctuation mark "or the State Government shall", shall be omitted; and

(ii) for the words "appoint a Public Prosecutor" the words "or the State Government shall appoint a Public Prosecutor" shall be substituted.

[Vide Karnataka Act 20 of 1982, s. 2.]

Maharashtra

Amendment of section 24.-- In Section 24 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, (2 of 1974) in its application to the State of Maharashtra:--

(a) in sub-section (6), the proviso shall be deleted;

(b) after sub-section (6), the following sub-section shall be inserted, namely:--

"(6-A) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (6), the State Government may, subject to the provisions of sub-sections (4) and (5), appoint a person who has been in practice as an advocate for not less than seven years, as the Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor for the district.".

[Vide Maharashtra Act 33 of 2014, s. 2.]

Madhya Pradesh--

Amendment of Section 24.--In Section 24 of the principal Act.--

(i) in sub-section (6), for the words, "brackets and figure "Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (5)", the words, brackets, letter and figures "Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (5), but subject to the provisions of sub-section (6-A)" shall be substituted and shall be deemed to have been substituted with effect from 18th December, 1978;

(ii) after sub-section (6), the following sub-section shall be inserted and shall be deemed to have been inserted with effect from 18th December, 1978, namely:--

"(6-A) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (6), the State Government may appoint a person who has been in practice as an advocate for not less than seven years as the Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor for the district and it shall not be necessary to appoint the Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor for the district from among the person constituting the Cadre of Prosecuting Officers in the State of Madhya Pradesh and the provisions of sub-sections (4) and (5) shall apply to the appointment of a Public Prosecutor Additional Public Prosecutor under this sub-section";

(iii) in sub-section (7), after the words, bracket and figure "sub-section (6)", the words, brackets, figure and letter "or sub-section (6-A)" shall be inserted and shall be deemed to have been inserted with effect from 18th December, 1978; and

(iv) in sub-section (9), for the words, brackets and figure, "sub-section (7)", the words, brackets, figures and letter "sub-section (6-A) and sub-section (7)" shall be substituted and shall be deemed to have been substituted with effect from 18th December, 1978.

[Vide Madhya Pradesh Act 21 of 1995, s. 3.]

West Bengal--

In Sub-section (6) of section 24 of the principal Act, for the words "shall appoint a Public Prosecutor or an Additional Public Prosecutor only", the words "may also appoint a Public Prosecutor or an Additional Public Prosecutor" shall be substituted.

[Vide West Bengal Act 26 of 1990, s. 3.]

West Bengal

In sub-section (6) of section 24 of the principal Act, the proviso shall be omitted.

[Vide West Bengal Act 25 of 1992, s. 3.]

STATE AMENDMENT

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh (UTs).--

Section 24.-- After sub-section (6), insert the following sub-section, namely:--

"(6A).-Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) and sub-section (6), the Government of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir may appoint a person who has been in practice as an Advocate for not less than seven years as Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor for High Court and for the District Courts and it shall not be necessary to appoint Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor for the High Court in consultation with High Court and Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor for the District Court from amongst the person constituting the cadre of Prosecution for the State of Jammu and Kashmir."

[vide the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of Central Laws) Order, 2020, vide notification No. S.O. 1123(E), dated (18-3-2020) and vide Union Territory of Ladakh Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Order, 2020, notification No. S.O.3774(E), dated (23-10-2020).]

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1. Subs. by Act 45 of 1978, s. 8, for s. 24 (w.e.f. 18-12-1978).

2. Ins. by Act 25 of 2005, s. 3 (w.e.f. 23-6-2006).

3. Ins. by Act 5 of 2009, s. 3 (w.e.f. 31-12-2009).