Not long ago at the final arguments of a long winding murder trial, the Public Prosecutor concluded his final arguments in one sentence. “Your Honour, the Prosecution has not proved its case so the Court may pass appropriate orders” is what the very conscientious Public Prosecutor Roy D’Souza candidly submitted before Sessions Judge Edgar Fernandes.This was the shortest final arguments in my entire legal career and the three young accused were rightly acquitted with the Court observing that there was absolutely no evidence to connect them to the alleged murder.
The Public Prosecutor lived in letter and spirit to the mandate of the Supreme Court which has time and time again reiterated that a Prosecutor should never end up being a Persecutor. Our Highest Court has rightly held that a Public Prosecutor is not expected to show a thirst to reach the case in the conviction of the accused somehow or the other irrespective of the true facts of the case. The Court ruled that the expected attitude of the Public Prosecutor while conducting the prosecution must be couched in fairness not only to the Court and to the investigating Agency but also to the accused. The Court has also observed that if an accused is entitled to any legitimate benefit during trial, the Public Prosecutor should not scuttle or conceal it.
It is unfortunate if any Prosecutor does not adhere to this mandated diktat of the Supreme Court while brazenly acting as de-facto Persecutor. Have come across one, and that too a novice Assistant Public Prosecutor appointed earlier this year.