Public Prosecutors can be booked under Corruption Act: HC

Shantinath Patil, who was working as Additional Public Prosecutor at Gadhinglaj in Kolhapur district since 2000, filed a petition seeking quashing of FIR against him for allegedly seeking bribe.

FIR was lodged in 2007; but Patil contended that since he was not on government's payroll, offence cannot be registered against him under Prevention Of Corruption Act.

His petition is pending before Justice S C Dharmadhikari, who referred it to division bench to decide if a public prosecutor comes within the ambit of the definition of public servant under PCA. Earlier two judgements had said that prosecutor was not a public servant.

Division bench of Justices B H Marlapalle and Anup Mohta today said "public prosecutor discharges public function", and therefore, even if he is not a government employee, he can be called a public servant.

The bench said additional public prosecutor performs a statutory function (as his appointment is governed by Criminal Procedure Code).

The division bench sent the matter back to single judge, who will now decide it as per the facts.

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