To strengthen government litigation service | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 02, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:42 AM, April 02, 2019

Court corridor

To strengthen government litigation service

The Judiciary is one of the most functioning organs of a State. Hence, litigation management is inseparable part of the Judiciary. Litigation management includes all suits and cases in which the government/public or private parties are involved and such management is being functioned by Solicitor's Office under the Law and Justice Division. At present, Government Pleaders (GPs) and Public Prosecutors (PPs) are under the jurisdiction of Solicitor's Office.

Basically, Government Pleaders along with Additional GP and Assistant GP deal with the civil cases for and against the government, whereas, Public Prosecutors with the help of Additional PP and Assistant PP look after the criminal cases for and against the government. The number of Government Pleaders, Public Prosecutors and other Pleaders and Prosecutors are not enough in proportion to number of million cases pending before the subordinate court. Nevertheless, it is high time to focus on the standard and skills development of them like other countries of the world. If we consider the barriers, challenges and success rate of Prosecutors and Government Pleaders, it will be demand of time to reconstruct the whole Prosecution Service like other countries' organised prosecutorial services.

In this regard, the basic challenges and lacunas which are mostly felt are that, in most cases the interest of government is not ensured in civil cases, the punishment of offences cannot be awarded due to failure of Prosecution. Again, Prosecutors and Government Pleaders are awarded with very little remuneration. For example: remuneration of a Public Prosecutor is BDT 500 per day, while an Additional PP gets 400 per day and Assistant PP gets BDT 200 per day excluding 15% vat on their earnings, no matter whether they deal with one or ten cases daily. That is why, they are keen to handle other pri¬vate cases frequently and so, their presence can be found in those cases which are rarely seen in government cases. To address these challenges, adoption of a new uniformed Prosecution Service can be a sustainable solution.

To introduce an organised and integrated prosecutorial service, Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission (BJSC) can play the vital role by appointing Assistant PPs/Assistant GPs. India, Pakistan, France, the USA and many other countries have introduced organised prosecutorial service. Bangladesh can follow those countries' models. Hence, our Law Commission can propose a model organised prosecutorial service for Bangladesh.

For introducing this new Act, some significant features are to be incorporated. Appointment of Prosecutors and Government Pleaders are to be restructured. It can be done by the fresh recruitment, open and competitive selection of young advocates. BJSC can frame Cadre and Recruitment Rules for the Department of Prosecution and Gov¬ernment Litigation. The Rules can be provided as like direct recruitment of Assistant PPs/Assistant GPs through a qualifying written examination fol¬lowed by viva voce conducted by BJSC. An Assistant PP/Assistant GP is required to have a law degree and two or three years of practice. All other appointments in the service are by promotion. Professional training is a must in all tiers of Prosecutors and Government Pleaders.

A structured salary scale has to be introduced for them like other gazetted officers. However, they will be evaluated by their performance, in Annual Confidential Report (ACR), evaluation from court shall also make our Prosecutors and Government Pleaders for accountable, responsible and a check and balance system will be ensured by this system. From the performance in district level, Prosecutors or Government Pleaders can be appointed in Attorney Office as one third of total appointment in Attorney Office. Without an accountable, responsive, dedicated Prosecution and Government Litigation Service, the interest of government and State cannot be ensured in both Civil and Criminal cases of our country. 

The writer is Judicial Magistrate, Sunamganj.

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