Role and Function of Public Prosecutor

It is a well-established rule in our criminal law that when a crime is committed against a specific person, it is assumed that the crime was also committed against society as a whole (or state). Therefore, it is the responsibility of the state to ensure that the individual and the affected group in society receive justice. A "public prosecutor" is the title given to the individual (an advocate or attorney) who represents the state in this system of delivering justice. He serves in the capacity of a governmental agent and speaks for societal interests at large.

What is a Public Prosecutor?

The word "Public Prosecutor" refers to a person who, as the name implies, represents or advocates for the general public's interests in a court of law. The idea of a "Public Prosecutor" is crucial to the Latin proverb "Audi Alteram Partem" since it guarantees that all parties' interests are represented before the court.

Section 2(u) of the Criminal Procedure Code provides a formal definition of the Public Prosecutor (CrPC). A public prosecutor is defined as a person appointed in accordance with Section 24 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The central government and the state governments may designate public prosecutors for their respective jurisdictions under Section 24 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

  • Our illustrious Supreme Court clarified the true definition of a public prosecutor in the case of Babu v. State of Kerala, noting that public prosecutors are the source of justice and that their primary responsibility is to support the court's decision-making while adequately representing the interests of the general public.

Functions of Public Prosecutor

Depending on their title, public prosecutors do a variety of different tasks.

  • Public Prosecutor: In session court and high court, supervise the work of the Additional Public Prosecutor.

  • In the Metropolitan Magistrate Court, the Chief Prosecutor is responsible for supervising the Assistant Public Prosecutor's activities.

  • As an additional prosecutor, conduct criminal prosecutions in the session court.

  • Assistant Public Prosecutor: They review the agencies' charge sheets and present the acquittal or discharge. Additionally, they are in charge of reviewing the evidence and submitting petitions for modifications. They also handle criminal cases in the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate.

  • The director of prosecution is in charge of the headquarters. They are in charge of overseeing and controlling all Directorate officers. They are also responsible for the account branches.

Provisions under Cr.P.C

The Central Government appoints the Public Prosecutor.

  • The state government appoints the public prosecutor.

  • Appointment of a second public prosecutor by the state government.

  • The Central Government appoints a special public prosecutor.

  • The state government appoints a special public prosecutor.

  • The District Court and High Court Public Prosecutors are appointed by the state government and the federal government, respectively, according to Section 24 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Role of Public Prosecutor

A public prosecutor serves as a state representative tasked with upholding the interests of the general populace. Because it is the responsibility of the state to prosecute the accused, public prosecutors are selected in practically every nation. The fundamental tenet of the "rule of law," known as "audi altrum partem," which states that no one shall be sentenced without a hearing, serves as the foundation for the appointment of a public prosecutor.

Every accused individual has the right to be heard, and public prosecutors are appointed to guard against the transformation of false accusations into unfair punishment. The following responsibilities are part of the job of a public prosecutor −

  • In order to carry out the prosecution on the State's behalf.

  • Getting the necessary warrants and showing up in court.

  • To make a trial go more quickly.

  • To make sure justice is served.


An official of the court who assists in the administration of justice is a public prosecutor. The fact that helping the court identify the relevant facts is the public prosecutor's primary responsibility is evident. The public prosecutor must be unbiased, just, and truthful. He has to follow the judge's instructions. He shouldn't have any faith in the conviction of an accused person by whatever means. Any public prosecution must follow the tenets of equity, justice, and morality.


Q1. Is prosecutor a lawyer?

Ans. A prosecutor is a lawyer who represents the state or the government and is in charge of initiating legal action as well as establishing in court that the defendant committed the alleged crime.

Q2. What is the difference between prosecutor and police?

Ans. The police are given the authority to arrest accused and carry out investigations (with magistrate’s permission) to provide justice for suspects, while prosecutors are given the authority to review the investigation carried out by the police and decide the case for prosecution using the proper legal procedures.

Q3. What is an example of Public Prosecutor?

Ans. A government attorney who determines whether a person formally charged with a crime should show up in court: To determine if the banks have broken the law, the minister has requested the public prosecutor's office.

Q4. What is difference between prosecutor and advocate?

Ans. The role of an advocate is to represent clients in court. They often work either independently or in law firm. They handle cases from beginning to end. A prosecutor is an attorney employed by the Government and prosecute an individual accused of breaking the law.