‘No govt prerogative in prosecutor’s appointment’

The government cannot claim to having exclusive right in appointment of prosecutor in criminal case, the Supreme Court has said.

Last Updated: Apr 12, 2011, 18:34 PM IST

New Delhi: The government cannot claim to having
exclusive right in appointment of prosecutor in criminal case,
the Supreme Court has said while appointing senior advocate UU Lalit as special public prosecutor for the trial in the 2G
scam despite Centre`s objection.

A bench of Justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly brushed
aside the Centre`s stand that only government has the right to
appoint Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) in the 2G spectrum
allocation scam in which former telecom minister A Raja, top
corporate honchos, bureaucrats and telecom firms are allegedly
involved.

"We are of the view that the expression prerogative
cannot be used in the context of a statutory provision. Under
our Constitution and statutory framework, there is nothing
known as prerogative," the bench said.

While objecting to the court`s decision to appoint SPP in
the case, Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval, appearing
for the Enforcement Directorate, had said it is the
"prerogative" of the government to take decision on
appointment of lawyers in the case.

Observing that there is a public element in such
appointment, the court said "UU Lalit satisfies the said
requirement quite adequately. Therefore, we are unable to
accept the contention of the Union of India and we hold that
in the interest of a fair prosecution of the case, the
appointment of UU Lalit is eminently suitable."

PTI