Prosecutor’s Discretion in Withdrawing a Criminal Case: Myth or Reality

  • Dr. Shruti Goyal
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  • Dr. Shruti Goyal

    Associate Professor at Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab, India

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The criminal justice system bestows on the public prosecutor the power to withdraw a criminal case so that weak cases are weeded out or cases, where continuation of the proceeding results in suffering, is put to an end. Though the mandate of the section is noble, the question regarding the legality, propriety and bonafide for withdrawing a criminal proceeding has been questioned. The controversy is regarding the interference of the executive in the filing of an application, non-application of mind by the Public Prosecutor and mentioning of trivial or vexatious grounds for withdrawal. The Supreme Court through a plethora of judgments has laid down guidelines for the manner in which the power should be exercised and the factors which should weigh in the mind of the Public Prosecutor before filing a withdrawal application. The author of this article shall delve into the question of whether the guidelines laid by Courts have been followed in practice. In order to achieve this objective, the author shall analyze the cases where withdrawal applications were filed. The parameters will be to (i) see the grounds cited by the Public Prosecutor for withdrawal; (ii) probe whether an independent opinion is formed by the Public Prosecutor before filing a withdrawal application; and (iii) scrutinize whether there is any executive interference in filing withdrawal application. The author shall then analyse the data to check whether the principles laid by Courts for filing withdrawal applications are being followed or not.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 1, Page 1643 - 1657


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