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Thursday, January 24, 2013

What is the meaning of the expression ‘the service’ in Article 233(2) of the Constitution of India? What is meant by ‘advocate’ or ‘pleader’ under Article 233(2)? Whether a District Attorney/Additional District Attorney/Public Prosecutor/Assistant Public Prosecutor/Assistant Advocate General, who is full time employee of the Government and governed and regulated by the statutory rules of the State and is appointed by direct recruitment through the Public Service Commission, is eligible for appointment to the post of District Judge under Article 233(2) of the Constitution? = Assistant District Attorney, Public Prosecutor and Deputy Advocate General – recorded undisputed factual position that they were appearing on behalf of their respective States primarily in criminal/civil cases and their appointments were basically under the C.P.C. or Cr.P.C. That means their job has been to conduct cases on behalf of the State Government/C.B.I. in courts. Each one of them continued to be enrolled with the respective State Bar Council. In view of this factual position and the legal position that we have discussed above, can it be said that these appellants were ineligible for appointment to the office of Additional District and Sessions Judge? Our answer is in the negative .- did not cease to be advocate while working as Assistant District Attorney/Public Prosecutor/Deputy Advocate General, the period during which they have been working as such has to be considered as the period practising law.= We, accordingly, hold that the five private appellants (Respondent Nos. 9,12,13,15 and 18 in CWP No. 9157/2008 before the High Court) fulfilled the eligibility under Article 233(2) of the Constitution and Rule 11(b) of the HSJS Rules on the date of application. The impugned judgment as regards them is liable to be set aside and is set aside. 91. Appeals are allowed as above with no order as to costs.


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                     CIVIL  APPEAL NO.  561     OF 2013
                  (Arising out of SLP(C) No. 17463 of 2010)

Deepak Aggarwal                                  ……  Appellant


Keshav Kaushik and others                             ……  Respondents

                 CIVIL  APPEAL NOS.    562-567      OF 2013
              (Arising out of SLP(C) Nos. 17723-17728 of 2010)

                   CIVIL  APPEAL NOS.  568-572     OF 2013
              (Arising out of SLP(C) Nos. 17793-17797 of 2010)

                  CIVIL  APPEAL NOS.     573-578    OF 2013
              (Arising out of SLP(C) Nos. 17366-17371 of 2010)

                  CIVIL  APPEAL NOS.     579-584    OF 2013
              (Arising out of SLP(C) Nos. 21344-21349 of 2010)

                  CIVIL  APPEAL NOS.   585-590     OF 2013
              (Arising out of SLP(C) Nos. 23205-23210 of 2010)

                  CIVIL  APPEAL NOS.      591-596   OF 2013
              (Arising out of SLP(C) Nos. 32273-32278 of 2011)



            Leave granted.
What  is  the  meaning  of  the  expression  ‘the
service’ in Article 233(2) of the Constitution of India? What  is  meant  by
‘advocate’  or  ‘pleader’  under  Article   233(2)?   
Whether   a   District
Attorney/Additional  District  Attorney/Public  Prosecutor/Assistant  Public
Prosecutor/Assistant Advocate General, who is  full  time  employee  of  the
Government and governed and regulated by the statutory rules  of  the  State
and  is  appointed  by  direct  recruitment  through  the   Public   Service
Commission, is eligible for appointment to the post of District Judge  under
Article 233(2) of the Constitution?  
These  are  the  questions  which  have
been raised for consideration in this group of appeals.
2.          The above questions  and  some  other  incidental  questions  in
these appeals have arisen from the judgment of the Punjab and  Haryana  High
Court delivered on 18.05.2010. The Division Bench of the High Court  by  the
above judgment disposed of 12 writ petitions wherein challenge was  laid  to
the  selection  and  appointment  of  certain  candidates  to  the  post  of
Additional District and Sessions Judge  in  the  Haryana  Superior  Judicial
Service (HSJS) on diverse grounds. The High Court by its  judgment  disposed
of the writ petitions in the following manner :

           “(A)  Selections/appointments of respondents  no.  9  –  (Dinesh
           Kumar Mittal), 12 (Rajesh Malhotra), 13  (Deepak  Aggarwal),  15
           (Chandra Shekhar) and 18 (Desh Raj Chalia) in CWP No.   9157  of
           2008  (wherever  they  may  be  in  other  writ  petitions)   as
           Additional District and Sessions  Judges,  are  hereby  quashed.
           This direction shall, however, remain in abeyance for  a  period
           of two months to enable  the  High  Court  to  make  alternative

           (B)     As   a   consequence   of   the   quashment    of    the
           selections/appointments  of  above    named   respondents,   the
           resultant five vacancies shall be filled up from the  candidates
           next in the order of merit, out of the  panel  prepared  by  the
           Selection Committee;

           (C)   The appointment of Fast Track Court Judges by a process of
           absorption after further examination and selection contained  in
           the recommendation of the Selection Committee dated   18.03.2008
           is affirmed.

           (D)   Order dated 22.09.2008 (Annexure P-8 in CWP No.  17708  of
           2008  rejecting  the  request  of  the  High  Court   for    de-
           reservation of six vacancies (four Scheduled Caste,  2  Backward
           Classes) is hereby quashed.  Resultantly, the matter is remitted
           back to the Government to re-consider the request  of  the  High
           Court for de-reservation in relaxation of rules by the competent
           authority empowered  under  the  Government  instructions  dated
           7.9.2008 and Rule 31 of the Haryana  Superior  Judicial  Service
           Rules, 2007.  The process of re-consideration shall be completed
           within six weeks and the decision be communicated  to  the  High

           (E)   If on such re-consideration,  the  State  decides  to  de-
           reserve the vacancies, candidates recommended by the High  Court
           vide  its  recommendation  letter  dated  25.4.2008,  shall   be

3.          The appellants in  this  group  of  seven  appeals  are,  Deepak
Aggarwal, Dinesh Kumar Mittal, Rajesh Malhotra,  Chandra  Shekhar  and  Desh
Raj  Chalia,  whose  selections/appointments  as  Additional  District   and
Sessions Judges have been quashed by the High  Court,  and  the  Punjab  and
Haryana High Court, Chandigarh on its administrative side.
4.          On 18.05.2007, the Punjab and  Haryana  High  Court,  Chandigarh
through its Registrar General issued a  notification  inviting  applications
for recruitment to certain posts of Additional District and Sessions  Judge.
The written examinations were conducted pursuant to  the  said  notification
wherein 64 candidates were recommended for the interview.  After  conducting
the interview, the High Court recommended the  names  of  16  candidates  in
order of merit to the post of Additional District and Sessions Judge in  the
State of Haryana by direct recruitment. Of the 16 candidates recommended  by
the High Court, 5 were  the   appellants.    At  the  time  of  appointment,
Deepak Aggarwal was working  as  Assistant  District  Attorney  in  Himachal
Pradesh; Chandra Shekhar and Desh  Raj  Chalia  were  working  as  Assistant
District Attorney in the State of Haryana, Rajesh Malhotra  was  working  as
Public Prosecutor in the office  of  Central  Bureau  of  Investigation  and
Dinesh Kumar Mittal was working as Deputy Advocate General in the office  of
the Advocate General, Punjab.
5.          Based on the recommendation of the  High  Court,  the  State  of
Haryana issued appointment  orders.  Some  of  the  unsuccessful  candidates
filed writ petitions before  the  High  Court  raising  diverse  grounds  of
challenge. However, as indicated above, the appointments of five  appellants
who were working as  Assistant  District  Attorney/Public  Prosecutor/Deputy
Advocate General have been quashed  holding  that  they  did  not  have  the
requisite criteria  to  qualify  for  the  recruitment  as  contemplated  in
Article 233 of the Constitution and that some  of  the  candidates  did  not
have requisite experience.
6.           Article  233  of  the  Constitution  of  India   provides   for
appointment of District Judges. It reads as follows:

           “233.   Appointment  of  district  judges.—(1)  Appointments  of
           persons to be, and the posting and promotion of, district judges
           in any State shall be made by  the  Governor  of  the  State  in
           consultation with the  High  Court  exercising  jurisdiction  in
           relation to such State.

           (2)  A person not already in the service of the Union or of  the
           State shall only be eligible to be appointed a district judge if
           he has been for not less than  seven  years  an  advocate  or  a
           pleader and is recommended by the High Court for appointment.”

7.          Haryana Superior Judicial Service Rules, 2007 (for short,  ‘HSJS
Rules’) regulate the  appointment of subordinate  judges  in  the  State  of
Haryana. Part III of these Rules deals with method of recruitment. Rules  5,
6 and 11 of the HSJS Rules are relevant for the  purposes  of  consideration
of these appeals and they read as under :
           “R.5.   Recruitment  to  the  Service  shall  be  made  by   the

                 (i)  by promotion from amongst the  Haryana  Civil  Service
                     (Judicial Branch) in consultation with the High  Court;
                 (ii)  by direct recruitment from amongst eligible Advocates
                       on the recommendations of the High Court on the basis
                       of the written and viva voce test  conducted  by  the
                       High Court.

           R.6.  (1)  Recruitment to the Service shall be made,—
                a) 50 per cent by promotion from amongst  the  Civil  Judges
                   (Senior Division)/Chief  Judicial  Magistrates/Additional
                   Civil Judges (Senior Division) on the basis of  principle
                   of merit-cum-seniority and passing a suitability test;

                b) 25 per cent by promotion strictly on the basis  of  merit
                   through limited competitive examination of  Civil  Judges
                   (Senior  Division)  having  not  less  than  five   years
                   qualifying    service    as    Civil    Judges    (Senior
                   Division)/Chief  Judicial  Magistrates/Additional   Civil
                   Judges (Senior Division);  and  who  are  not  less  than
                   thirty five years of age  on  the  last  date  fixed  for
                   submission of applications  for  taking  up  the  limited
                   competitive examinations; and

                c) 25 per cent of  the  posts  shall  be  filled  by  direct
                   recruitment from amongst the eligible  Advocates  on  the
                   basis of the written and viva voce test, conducted by the
                   High Court.

           (2)   The first and second post would go  to  category  (a)  (by
           promotion on the basis of merit-cum-seniority), third post would
           go to category (c) (direct recruitment from the bar) and  fourth
           post  would  go  to  category  (b)   (by   limited   competitive
           examination) of rule 6, and so on.

           R. 11.  The qualifications  for  direct  recruits  shall  be  as
           follows :
                       (a)  must be a citizen of India;
                       (b)  must have been duly enrolled as an Advocate  and
                          has practiced for a period not  less  than  seven
                       (c)  must have attained the age of thirty five  years
                          and have not attained the age of forty five years
                          on the 1st day of January of the  year  in  which
                          the applications for recruitment are invited.”

 8.         It will be convenient at this  stage  to  refer  to  some  other
provisions which have bearing  in  the  matter  and  are  relevant  for  the
purpose of these appeals.  Section 2(u) of the Code of  Criminal  Procedure,
1973 (for short, ‘Cr.P.C.’) defines ‘Public Prosecutor’  to mean any  person
appointed under  Section  24  and  includes  any  person  acting  under  the
directions  of  a  Public  Prosecutor.   Section  24   deals  with   ‘Public
Prosecutors’. It reads as under:

           “24. Public Prosecutors,— (1) For every High Court, the  Central
           Government or the State  Government  shall,  after  consultation
           with the High Court, appoint a Public Prosecutor  and  may  also
           appoint one or more Additional Public Prosecutors for conducting
           in such court, any prosecution, appeal or  other  proceeding  on
           behalf of the Central Government or  State  Government,  as  the
           case may be.
           (2) The Central  Government  may  appoint  one  or  more  Public
           Prosecutors for the purpose of conducting any case or  class  of
           cases in any district, or local area.
           (3) For every district the  State  Government  shall  appoint  a
           Public Prosecutor and may also appoint one  or  more  Additional
           Public Prosecutors for the district:
           Provided  that  the  Public  Prosecutor  or  Additional   Public
           Prosecutor appointed for one district may be appointed  also  to
           be a Public Prosecutor or an Additional  Public  Prosecutor,  as
           the case may be, for another district.
           (4) The District Magistrate  shall,  in  consultation  with  the
           Sessions Judge, prepare, a panel of names of persons,  who  are,
           in his opinion fit to be  appointed  as  Public  Prosecutors  or
           Additional Public Prosecutors for the district.
           (5) No person shall be appointed by the State Government as  the
           Public  Prosecutor  or  Additional  Public  Prosecutor  for  the
           district unless his name appears in the panel of names  prepared
           by the District Magistrate under sub-section (4).
           (6) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (5), where
           in a State there exists a regular Cadre of Prosecuting Officers,
           the State Government shall appoint a  Public  Prosecutor  or  an
           Additional  Public  Prosecutor  only  from  among  the   persons
           constituting such Cadre:
           Provided that where, in the opinion of the State Government,  no
           suitable person is available in such Cadre for such  appointment
           that Government may appoint a person  as  Public  Prosecutor  or
           Additional Public Prosecutor, as the case may be, from the panel
           of names prepared by the District Magistrate  under  sub-section
           Explanation - For the purposes of this sub-section,--
            (a) “regular Cadre of Prosecuting Officers” means  a  Cadre  of
           Prosecuting Officers which includes therein the post of a Public
           Prosecutor, by whatever name  called,  and  which  provides  for
           promotion of Assistant  Public  Prosecutors,  by  whatever  name
           called, to that post;
            (b) “Prosecuting Officer” means  a  person,  by  whatever  name
           called,  appointed  to  perform  the  functions  of   a   Public
           Prosecutor, an Additional  Public  Prosecutor  or  an  Assistant
           Public Prosecutor under this Code.
            (7) A person shall be eligible to  be  appointed  as  a  Public
           Prosecutor or an Additional Public Prosecutor under  sub-section
           (1) or sub-section (2) or sub-section (3)  or  sub-section  (6),
           only if he has been in practice as an advocate for not less than
           seven years.
            (8) The Central Government or the State Government may appoint,
           for the purposes of any case or class of cases, a person who has
           been in practice as an advocate for not less than ten years as a
           Special Public Prosecutor:
              "Provided that the Court may permit the victim to  engage  an
              advocate of his choice to assist the prosecution  under  this
           (9) For the purposes of sub-section (7) and sub-section (8), the
           period during which a person has been in practice, as a pleader,
           or has rendered (whether before or  after  the  commencement  of
           this Code) service as a Public Prosecutor or  as  an  Additional
           Public  Prosecutor  or  Assistant  Public  Prosecutor  or  other
           Prosecuting Officer, by whatever name called, shall be deemed to
           be the period during which such person has been in  practice  as
           an advocate.”

9.          Some of the States have amended Section 24 Cr.P.C.   Insofar  as
Haryana is concerned, an explanation has been added to  sub-section  (6)  of
Section 24 with effect from 29.11.1985 which provides that for  the  purpose
of sub-section (6), the persons constituting the Haryana  State  Prosecution
Legal Service (Group A) or Haryana State Prosecution  Legal  Service  (Group
B) shall be deemed to be a regular Cadre of Prosecuting Officers.
10.         Section 25 Cr.P.C deals with Assistant  Public  Prosecutors  for
conducting prosecutions  in  the  court  of  Magistrates.  Section  25A  was
brought in the Cr.P.C. by Act 25 of 2005. It, inter alia, provides that  the
State Government may establish a Directorate of Prosecution consisting of  a
Director of Prosecution and as many Deputy Directors of  Prosecution  as  it
thinks fit. Sub-section (5) of Section 25A  makes  a  provision  that  every
Public  Prosecutor,  Additional  Public  Prosecutor   and   Special   Public
Prosecutor appointed by the State Government under sub-section (1) or  under
sub-section (8) of Section 24 to conduct cases in the High  Court  shall  be
subordinate to the Director of Prosecution. In terms of sub-section  (6)  of
Section 25A, every  Public  Prosecutor,  Additional  Public  Prosecutor  and
Special Public Prosecutor appointed  by  the  State  Government  under  sub-
section (3) or under sub-section (8) of  Section  24  to  conduct  cases  in
district courts and every Assistant Public Prosecutor appointed  under  sub-
section (1) of Section 25 shall be subordinate to  the  Deputy  Director  of
Prosecution. Sub-section (8), however, clarifies that the  Advocate  General
for the State while performing the functions of public prosecutor shall  not
be covered by Section 25A.
11.         Section 2(7) of the Code of Civil Procedure,  1908  (for  short,
‘CPC’)  defines  ‘government  pleader’.   According   to   this   provision,
‘government pleader’ includes any officer appointed by the State  Government
to perform all or any of the functions expressly imposed by the CPC  on  the
government pleader and also any pleader acting under the directions  of  the
government pleader.
12.         Section 2(15)  CPC defines  ‘pleader’  which  means  any  person
entitled to  appear  and  plead  for  another  in  court,  and  includes  an
advocate, a vakil and an attorney of a High Court.
13.         Prior to Indian Advocates Act, 1961, [The Indian]  Bar  Councils
Act, 1926 (for short, ‘1926 Act’)  dealt  with  the  functions  of  the  Bar
Council and  the admission and enrolment of advocates.  Section  2(1)(a)  of
the 1926 Act had   defined ‘advocate’  as meaning  an  advocate  entered  in
the roll of advocates of a High Court under the provisions of that Act.
14.         Section 8(1) of the 1926 Act provided as under:
           “8.Enrolment of  advocates. – (1)  No person shall  be  entitled
           as of right to practice in any High Court, unless  his  name  is
           entered  in  the  roll  of  the  advocates  of  the  High  Court
           maintained under this Act:
           Provided that nothing in this sub-section  shall  apply  to  any
           attorney of the High Court.”

15.         Section  9  of  the  1926  Act  dealt  with  qualifications  and
admission of advocates while Section 14 provided for right of  advocates  to
16.         On constitution of the State Bar  Council  under  the  Advocates
Act, 1961 (for short, ‘1961 Act’), the relevant provisions of the  1926  Act
stood repealed.   Section 17 of the 1961 Act provides that every  State  Bar
Council shall prepare and maintain a roll of advocates. It further  provides
that no person shall be enrolled as an advocate on the  roll  of  more  than
one State Bar Council. Section 24   provides  for  the  eligibility  of  the
persons who may be admitted as advocates  on  State  roll.  Inter  alia,  it
states that a person shall be qualified to be admitted as an advocate  on  a
State roll if he fulfills such other conditions as may be specified  in  the
rules made by the State Bar Council under Chapter III.  Section 28  empowers
a State Bar Council to make rules to carry out the purposes of Chapter  III.
Clause (d), sub-section (2)  of  Section  28  states  that  such  rules  may
provide for the conditions subject to which a person may be admitted  as  an
advocate on the State roll.  Chapter IV of  the  1961  Act  deals  with  the
right to practice.  This Chapter comprises of  five  sections.   Section  29
provides that from the appointed day, there  shall  be  only  one  class  of
persons entitled to practice profession of law, namely, advocates.   Section
30 provides for  right  of  advocates  to  practice.   Section  33  makes  a
provision that except as otherwise provided in the Act or in any  other  law
for the time being in force, no person shall on or after the appointed  day,
be entitled to practice in any event  or  before  any  authority  or  person
unless he is enrolled as advocate under the Act.
17.         Section 49 gives power to the  Bar  Council  of  India  to  make
rules for discharging its functions  and also to frame rules in  respect  of
the subjects enumerated in clauses (a) to (j).  Clause (ah) deals  with  the
conditions subject to which an advocate shall have  the  right  to  practice
and the circumstances under which a person shall be deemed  to  practice  as
an advocate in a  court.  The  first  proviso  following  the  main  Section
provides that no rules made with reference to  clause  (c)  or   (gg)  shall
have effect unless they have been approved by the Chief  Justice  of  India.
The second proviso provides that no rules made with reference to clause  (e)
shall have effect unless they have been approved by the Central  Government.
Pursuant to the power given under Section 49, the Bar Council of  India  has
framed the Bar Council of India Rules (for  short,  ‘BCI  Rules’).  Rule  43
provides that an advocate, who has taken a full-time  service  or  part-time
service or engaged in  business  or  any  avocation  inconsistent  with  his
practising as an advocate, shall send a declaration to that  effect  to  the
respective State Bar Council within 90 days.  On his failure to do so or  in
the absence of sufficient cause for not doing so, he may face suspension  of
licence to practice.   Prior to  2001, Rule 49 of  the  BCI  Rules  read  as
under :
           “49.  An advocate shall not be a full-time salaried employee  of
           any person, government, firm, corporation or concern, so long as
           he continues to practice, and  shall,  on  taking  up  any  such
           employment, intimate the fact to the Bar Council on  whose  roll
           his name appears, and shall thereupon cease to  practice  as  an
           advocate so long as he continues in such employment.

           Nothing in this rule shall apply to a Law Officer of the Central
           Government  or  a State or of any  Public  Corporation  or  body
           constituted by statute who is entitled to be enrolled under  the
           rules of his State Bar Council made under Section 28(2)(d)  read
           with Section 24(1)(e) of the Act despite his being a  full  time
           salaried employee.

           Law Officer for the purpose of this Rule means a person  who  is
           so designated by the terms of his appointment and  who,  by  the
           said terms, is required to act and/or plead in courts on  behalf
           of his employer.

18.         By  resolution  dated  22.06.2001,  the  Bar  Council  of  India
deleted the second and third para of the above  rule.  The  said  resolution
was published in the Government Gazette on 13.10.2001. The Chief Justice  of
India gave his consent to the said deletion on 23.04.2008.  Rule 49  in  its
present form, consequent on amendment, reads as under:
           “An advocate shall not be a full-time salaried employee  of  any
           person, government, firm, corporation or concern, so long as  he
           continues to practice, and shall, on taking up  any  employment,
           intimate the fact to the Bar Council  on  whose  roll  his  name
           appears, and shall thereupon cease to practise as an advocate so
           long as he continues in such employment”.

19.         The High Court has held,  and in  our  view  rightly,  that  the
consent of Chief Justice of India was not needed because rule in respect  of
eligibility  is  traceable  to  clause  (ah).   The  amendment  thus  became
effective in any case  on its publication  in  the  Government   Gazette  on
20.          The  High  Court  while  considering  the  issue  relating   to
eligibility of the appellants for selection and  appointment  under  Article
233(2), dealt with Sections 17, 22, 24, 29 and 33 of the 1961  Act and  Rule
49 of the BCI Rules and observed that an advocate could not be  a  full-time
salaried employee of any person, government, firm,  corporation  or  concern
so long as he continues to practice.
21.           The  High  Court  referred  to  various  decisions   including
decisions of this Court in Mundrika  Prasad  Sinha  v.  State  of  Bihar[1],
Mukul Dalal and others v. Union of India  and  Others[2],  Kumari  Shrilekha
Vidyarthi and Others v. State of U.P. and Others[3], Chandra Mohan v.  State
of U.P. and Others[4], Satya Narain Singh v. High  Court  of  Judicature  at
Allahabad and Others[5], Sushma  Suri  v.  Government  of  National  Capital
Territory of Delhi and Another[6], Satish Kumar Sharma  v.  Bar  Council  of
H.P.[7], Sunil Kumar Goyal v. Rajasthan  Public  Service  Commission[8]  and
finally held that Dinesh Kumar Mittal,  Rajesh  Malhotra,  Deepak  Aggarwal,
Chandra Shekhar and Desh Raj Chalia were ineligible at  the  time  of  their
appointment as Additional District and Sessions Judge. The Bench  formulated
its opinion on account of the  following :

           “They were in regular government service with the Union  or  the
           State.  Their  recruitment  to  the  posts  of  Deputy  Advocate
           General, Assistant District Attorney’s/Prosecutors was  pursuant
           to  their   selection   by   the   respective   Public   Service
           Commission/Government. All of them were in the graded pay  scale
           and  subjected  to  all  rigors  of  service  conditions  of   a
           government servant known to service jurisprudence. We may not be
           misunderstood to mean that the  Law  Officers  as  a  genre  are
           ineligible          for          judicial           appointment.
           Disqualification/ineligibility  is  attracted   only   to   such
           category  of  Law  Officers  who  opt  for  regular   Government
           employment. However, no such ineligibility is  attached  to  the
           other category of Law Officers who are  practicing  lawyers  and
           are  engaged  on  behalf  of  the  Government   or   any   other
           organization/authority, even on salary to appear on their behalf
           either under any contractual arrangement  or  on  case  to  case
           basis,  without  subjecting  themselves  to  the  conditions  of
           regular government employment  such  as  the  Advocate  General,
           Additional Advocate General in the  State,  Assistant  Solicitor
           General or Central Government Standing counsel or any other  Law
           Officer engaged by various Government Corporations or  otherwise
           who are engaged to represent them in courts of law.”

22.         The High Court also held that except Rajesh Malhotra, the  other
four, namely, Dinesh Kumar Mittal,  Deepak  Aggarwal,  Chandra  Shekhar  and
Desh Raj Chalia were having less than seven years of  practice  at  the  Bar
before their engagement as Assistant District Attorneys/Public Prosecutors.
23.         Mr. P.P. Rao, learned senior counsel who led  the  arguments  on
behalf of the appellants, argued that Article 233(2) of the Constitution  is
a self-contained Code. Service  of  a  Public  Prosecutor  or  an  Assistant
Public  Prosecutor  or  a  Government  Pleader  does  not  render  a  person
ineligible for appointment as a District Judge if he has been for  not  less
than seven years  an advocate or a pleader.   According to him, it  is  open
to the State to appoint a Government Pleader in terms  of  Section  2(7)  of
C.P.C. for conducting civil cases and Public Prosecutors  under  Section  24
of Cr.P.C. for criminal cases on mutually agreed terms, either on a case  to
case basis or piece-rate basis for each item of work done  or  on  a  tenure
basis or on a  permanent  basis.  Though  called  ‘appointment’,  it  is  in
reality and in substance an engagement of an advocate for  conducting  cases
in courts. Advocates with experience are only eligible for these  posts  and
even after  appointment  as  Government  Pleader  or  Public  Prosecutor  or
Assistant Public Prosecutor or Assistant District  Attorney,  their  job  is
exclusively or mainly to conduct cases as advocates in  courts.  The  nature
of their functions remains the same. They are always Officers of the  Court.
24.         It was submitted by Mr. P.P. Rao that the 1961 Act and  the  BCI
Rules, including Rule 49 , must  be  read  harmoniously  with  the  relevant
provisions of C.P.C. and Cr.P.C. having regard to the object and  scheme  of
appointment of  the   Government  Pleaders,  Public  Prosecutors,  Assistant
Public Prosecutors or Assistant District Attorneys etc.  He  contended  that
rule making power by Bar Council of India cannot be  exercised  inconsistent
with the provisions contained in CPC and Cr.P.C; it  is  not  an  overriding
power and the persons who are eligible in terms of  Article  233(2)  of  the
Constitution cannot be made ineligible by a rule made by the Bar Council  of
India. According to him, the meaning of the word,  ‘advocate’  occurring  in
Article 233(2) must be fixed and identified which  the  Constitution  makers
had in mind. Neither the 1961 Act nor the BCI Rules  framed  thereunder  can
curtail the meaning  of  the  word   ‘advocate’  that  is  understood  under
Article 233(2) of the Constitution.
25.         Mr. P.P. Rao, learned senior counsel  submitted  that  it  could
never be the intention of the Bar Council of India  when  it  made  Rule  49
that  appointment of  advocate by the Government for  conducting  its  cases
in courts as an advocate on a full time salary basis would attract  the  bar
in Rule 49. The bar  applies  to  employees  engaged  for  work  other  than
conducting cases in courts as advocates. He suggested that in order to  save
the operation of Rule 49, it needs to be read down and the  test  laid  down
by this Court in Satish Kumar Sharma7 and Sushma  Suri6   must  be  applied,
i.e. whether a person is engaged to act and/or plead in a court  of  law  as
an advocate and not whether such person is engaged on  terms  of  salary  or
payment of remuneration.   In  his  view,  what  is  important  is  not  the
employment but the functions  that  a  Public  Prosecutor  or  a  Government
Pleader discharges.
26.         The contention of Mr. P.P. Rao is  that  the  BCI  Rules  cannot
override the operation of any law made by the Parliament, including the  CPC
or the Cr.P.C., much less Article 233(2) of the Constitution which  contains
the word ‘advocate’ having a definite meaning i.e.,  person  enrolled  as  a
member of  the  Bar  to  conduct  cases  in  courts.   He  highlighted   the
consistent practice before the Constitution and after  the  Constitution  of
the  Government Pleaders and Public  Prosecutors  on  regular  or  permanent
basis with fixed emoluments being appointed as District  Judges  by  way  of
direct recruitment in view of  their  experience  in  conducting  government
cases. He submitted that to declare them ineligible would defeat the  object
of recruitment underlying Article 233(2) of the Constitution.
27.         Mr. A.K.  Ganguli,  learned  senior  counsel  appearing  in  the
appeals  preferred  by  Dinesh  Kumar  Mittal  adopted  the   arguments   of
      Mr. P.P. Rao and further submitted that it is right to  practice  that
determines whether one  is  advocate  or  not  and  that  is  what  must  be
understood by the  term  ‘advocate’  occurring  in  Article  233(2)  of  the
28.         Mr. B.H. Marlapalle, learned senior counsel  for  the  appellant
Desh Raj Chalia,  submitted  that  Article  233(2)  provided  two  different
sources of appointment to the post of District Judge, namely,  by  promotion
from service and by nomination from the law practitioners with  practice  of
not less than seven-years.  The requirement of practice for  not  less  than
seven-years is only for  the  appointment  by  nomination.  He  relied  upon
decisions  of  this  Court  in  Rameshwar  Dayal  v.  State  of  Punjab  and
others[9], Chandra Mohan4 and Satya Narain Singh5.  Learned  senior  counsel
argued that Section 24, Cr.P.C. is the source of power  for  appointment  of
the Public Prosecutor/Additional Public Prosecutor either  as  part  of  the
regular  service  cadre  or  from  the  panel  prepared  by   the   District
Magistrate. The scheme of  Section  24  Cr.P.C.  cannot  be  allowed  to  be
defeated by Rule 49 of the BCI Rules as  amended  by  the  resolution  dated
22.06.2001.   Learned senior counsel  submitted  that  a  Public  Prosecutor
appointed by State Government as a part of regular service cadre  cannot  be
excluded from the scheme of Section 30 of the 1961 Act just because  he  has
chosen to appear for the State  Government.  Any  law  practitioner/advocate
has the choice to  restrict  his  practice.   He  heavily  relied  upon  the
observations made by this Court in paragraphs 6, 10 and 11 of  the  decision
in Sushma Suri6 and submitted that principles laid down therein  were  fully
applicable to the appellant’s submission  that  he  is  eligible  for  being
selected by nomination to the post of District Judge from  amongst  the  law
29.         Mr. B.H. Marlapalle referred to various provisions of  the  1961
Act and Rule 49 of the BCI Rules and submitted that any person who is a  law
officer of the  State/Central  Government  and  who  by  the  said  term  is
required to act and plead in a court on behalf of his employer  is  entitled
to be admitted as an advocate to the State roll. Rule 49, as amended by  the
Bar Council of India,  cannot be  interpreted  to  mean  that  every  Public
Prosecutor/Additional Public Prosecutor,  who  is  appointed  by  the  State
Government as a part of regular service cadre, ceases  to  be  an  advocate.
If a  Public Prosecutor forming part of  service  cadre,  ceases  to  be  an
advocate then  his tenure as a Public Prosecutor under Section  24,  Cr.P.C.
would automatically come to an end. Such an interpretation  of  Rule  49  of
the BCI Rules would not be proper.
30.         Learned senior counsel also challenged the finding  recorded  by
the High Court with regard to appellant Desh Raj  Chalia  that  he  did  not
complete seven years of law  practice.  According  to  him,  his  tenure  as
Assistant District Attorney was required to be counted for  the  purpose  of
computing period of practice  and the appellant had completed more  than  11
years of law practice.
31.          Mr.  S.S.  Ray,  learned  counsel  appearing  for  one  of  the
appellants, argued that the amendment to Rule 49 in 2001  has  not  affected
the position of the appellant as an advocate in any manner and the  judgment
of this Court in Sushma  Suri6   is  squarely  applicable.  Learned  counsel
would submit that ‘advocate’ means any person who  pleads  for  his  client.
The word, ‘advocate’ is genus whereas  expressions,   Law  Officer/Assistant
District Attorney/Public Prosecutor are species.  They  are  covered  within
the meaning of  term ‘advocate’. Suspension of the licence or  deleting  the
name from the roll of  advocates  cannot  exclude  a  Public  Prosecutor  or
Assistant District Attorney from  the  definition  of  word  ‘advocate’.  He
further argued that if Public Prosecutor  and  Assistant  District  Attorney
are taken out from the definition of ‘advocate’ then they cannot  plead  the
case before the court even on behalf of the Government.  He  submitted  that
the provisions contained in CPC and Cr.P.C.  should  prevail  over  the  BCI
Rules.  With regard to interpretation of  Article  233(2),  he  adopted  the
arguments of Mr. P.P. Rao.
32.         Mr. Raju Ramchandran, learned senior counsel  appeared  for  the
High Court of Punjab and Haryana on administrative side. He  submitted  that
District Attorney, Public Prosecutor and Assistant Advocate General  are  in
essence lawyers. Even though Rule 49 was  amended  by  the  Bar  Council  of
India,  yet   under   the   amended   rule    District   Attorneys,   Public
Prosecutors/Assistant Advocate General continue to appear  as  advocates  as
they continue to have their licence.   Rule 49 per  se  does  not  bar  them
from appearing before a  court. Reference was  made  to  the  provisions  of
Haryana State Prosecution Legal Service (Group  ‘C’)  Rules,  1979  to  show
that the Government Pleader and Public Prosecutor may be  fully  engaged  by
the Government but in essence they are lawyers representing the  Government.
  He submitted that High Court failed to notice the explanation  to  Section
24(6) and its interplay with Section 24(9) Cr.P.C.  Learned  senior  counsel
suggested  that the test enunciated in Sushma Suri6 , namely, whether he  is
engaged to act or plead on behalf of the employer  in a court of law  as  an
advocate should  be applied to  find  out  whether  the  private  appellants
whose appointments have been cancelled met  the  prescribed  eligibility  or
33.         Learned senior counsel sought to  distinguish  the  decision  of
this Court in Mallaraddi H. Itagi & Ors.  v.  High  Court  of  Karnataka  by
highlighting  that  Karnataka  Department  of  Prosecution  and   Government
Litigation Recruitment Rules, 1962 did not allow the Public  Prosecutors  to
appear as advocates before the Court; the candidates therein  admitted  that
they were government servants; and the candidates  therein  had  surrendered
their licence.
34.         A plea of estoppel was also raised on behalf of the  High  Court
and  it  was  submitted  that  the  writ  petitioners  were  estopped   from
challenging the selection  process  as  they  had  taken  a  chance  to  get
selected and after having remained unsuccessful, they have  now   challenged
the appointment of successful candidates.
35.         On the other hand, Mr. Prashant  Bhushan,  learned  counsel  for
the respondent – Keshav Kaushik (writ petitioner before the High Court)   in
the appeal preferred by Deepak Aggarwal, referred to Article 233(2)  of  the
Constitution and submitted that in  order  to  be  eligible,  the  candidate
must not be in the service of Union or the  State  and  must  have  been  an
advocate for at least seven years. It was  submitted  that  the  expression,
“if he has been for not less than seven years an advocate” must be  read  to
mean seven years immediately  preceding  his  appointment/  application.  It
cannot mean any seven years any time in the  past.  If  that  interpretation
were to be accepted, it would mean that a  person  who  is  enrolled  as  an
advocate for seven years and thereafter took up a job  for the  last  twenty
years would also become eligible for  being  appointed  as  District  Judge.
This would defeat the object of  the  qualification  prescribed  in  Article
36.         Mr. Prashant Bhushan contended that a Public Prosecutor being  a
full time employee of the Government, ceases to be an advocate by virtue  of
Rule 49 of the BCI Rules. The candidates whose  appointment  was  challenged
were  in  full  time  employment  of  the  Government;  were  liable  to  be
transferred and posted with the Government Companies  as  law  officers  and
they have several functions other  than  appearances  in  courts  as  Public
Prosecutors.   Merely  because  one  of  the  functions  of   these   Public
Prosecutors is to appear in  courts  would  not  make  them  advocates   and
eligible for appointment under Article 233 (2)   of  the  Constitution.   He
justified the view of the High Court.
37.         Mr. P.S. Patwalia,  learned  senior  counsel  also  arguing  for
respondent no. 1 in the appeal by Chandra Shekhar, submitted  that  Rule  49
expressly debars a person from  practising  as  an  advocate  on  taking  up
employment. Rule 43 of BCI Rules makes it imperative on any such  person  to
file a declaration within 90 days on taking up employment failing which  the
State Bar Council can suspend the licence of such a person to  practice.  It
was submitted that full time employees have a limited  right  of  appearance
before the courts by virtue of Section 24 Cr.P.C. and  Section  2(7)  C.P.C.
Such employees can only appear in briefs marked to them by State  Government
for specified courts.
38.         Chapter IV of the 1961, Act which deals with right to  practice,
was referred to by the learned senior counsel, particularly, Sections 29  to
33, and it was submitted that on a  conjoint  reading  of  these  provisions
with Rules 43 to 49 of the BCI Rules and  Section  24  Cr.P.C.  and  Section
2(7)  C.P.C.,  Additional  District   Attorney/Public   Prosecutor/Assistant
Advocate General  cannot be said to practice law.   Reference  was  made  to
the Resolution passed by Bar Council of India in this regard which  provides
that if a Public Prosecutor/Additional District Attorney  is  a  whole  time
employee drawing regular salary, he will not be entitled to be  enrolled  as
an advocate.
39.         In support of the above submissions, Mr.  P.S.  Patwalia  relied
upon  decision of this Court in Satish Kumar  Sharma7   and  a  decision  of
this Court in Mallaraddi H. Itagi.  Reference was also made to the  decision
of the Karnataka High Court in Mallaraddi H. Itagi  from which  the  appeals
were preferred before this Court. Learned senior counsel submitted that  the
view taken by Karnataka High Court and upheld by  this  Court  is  the  view
which has been taken by various  other  high  courts,  namely,  Kerala  High
Court in K.R. Biju Babu v. High Court of Kerala  &  Another[10],  Jammu  and
Kashmir High Court in Gurjot Kaur and Others v.  High  Court  of  Jammu  and
Kashmir  and Another decided on 14.09.2010, Bombay High  Court  in  Sudhakar
Govindrao Deshpande v. State of Maharashtra and Others[11],  Allahabad  High
Court in Akhilesh Kumar Misra and Others v. The High Court of Judicature  at
Allahabad and Others[12] Rajasthan High Court in Pawan  Kumar  Vashistha  v.
High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan,  Jodhpur  and  Another   decided  on
40.          Mr.  P.S.  Patwalia   referred  to  Article   233(2)   of   the
Constitution  and  the  decision  of  this  Court  in   Chandra  Mohan4  and
submitted that a person already employed  in  the  executive  service  of  a
State is ineligible to be appointed. He heavily relied  upon  paragraphs  49
and 50 of the impugned judgment and submitted that the findings returned  by
the High Court were in accord with law.
41.         On behalf of the respondents  in  the  appeal  by  Dinesh  Kumar
Mittal, it was submitted that Article 233(2) of the Constitution  lays  down
three essentials for appointment of a person to the post of  District  Judge
and all of them are mandatorily required to be fulfilled and are to be  read
simultaneously. It was submitted  that  independence  of  judiciary  is  the
basic structure of the  Constitution.  The  Public  Prosecutors   holding  a
regular post in regular pay scale are government servants and they  can  not
be treated as ‘advocate’ within the meaning of Sections 24,  29  and  30  of
the 1961 Act read with Rule 49 of the BCI Rules. It was suggested  that  the
words “has been”  in Article 233(2)  must be read to mean  the  advocate  or
pleader who continues to be so at the time of his appointment.
42.         Article 233 of the Constitution makes provision for  appointment
and qualification for  District Judges. Under clause (1) of Article  233  no
special qualifications are laid down. The Governor can appoint a person  who
is already in service of the Union or of the State as a  District  Judge  in
consultation with the relevant High Court. Clause (2) of  Article  233  lays
down three essentials for appointment of a person to the  post  of  District
Judge; (i) a person shall not be in service of the Union or  of  the  State;
(ii) he has been for not less than seven years an  advocate  or  a  pleader;
and  (iii)  his  name  is  recommended  by  the  relevant  High  Court   for
appointment.  In other words, as regards a person  not  already  in  service
what is required is that he should  be  an  advocate  or  pleader  of  seven
years’ standing and that his name is  recommended  by  the  High  Court  for
appointment as District Judge. We have to find out what is  the  meaning  of
the expression “the service”  under Article 233  (2)  of  the  Constitution.
The expression “the service” occurring in clause (2) of Article 233 came  up
for consideration before a Constitution  Bench  of  this  Court  in  Chandra
43.         In the case of Chandra Mohan4   the  facts  were  these:  during
1961 and 1962,  the  Registrar  of  the  Allahabad  High  Court  called  for
applications for recruitment with regard to   ten  vacancies  in  the  Uttar
Pradesh Higher Judicial  Service  from  Barristers,  Advocates,  Vakils  and
Pleaders of more than seven years’ standing and from judicial officers.  The
Selection Committee, constituted under the Rules,  selected  six  candidates
for appointment to the said service. The three of  the  selected  candidates
were advocates and three were judicial  officers.  The  Selection  Committee
sent two lists, one comprising the names of three advocates  and  the  other
comprising the names of three judicial officers to the High Court.   Chandra
Mohan, who was Member of U.P. Civil Services (Judicial Branch) and  who  was
at that time acting as a District Judge, and some other  officers  who  were
similarly situated, filed writ petitions in  the  High  Court  of  Allahabad
under Article 226 challenging  the  selection  of  the  six  candidates  for
appointment to the U.P. Higher Judicial Service. The  matter  was  heard  by
the Division Bench. The members of the Bench   agreed  that  selection  from
the Bar was good but  as  regards  selection  from  the  cadre  of  judicial
officers,  there was difference of opinion on the aspect of non-issuance  of
notification under Article 237 of the Constitution. The matter was  referred
to a third Judge who agreed with one of the Judges who held  that  selection
from the judicial officers was also good.  Thus,  the  writ  petitions  were
dismissed. The High Court on the application for certificate  to  appeal  to
this Court certified the case  a  fit  one  for  appeal,  consequently,  the
appeal was filed. As there was some debate on the scope of  the  certificate
granted by the High Court, this Court also granted Special Leave  to  Appeal
against the order of the High Court.  Diverse  arguments  were  advanced  on
behalf of the appellants before this Court. While dealing with the  question
whether the Governor can directly appoint persons from services  other  than
the judicial service as District Judges in consultation with the High  Court
and on a   further  question  whether  the  Governor  can  appoint  judicial
officers as District Judges, this Court dealt with Articles  233,  234,  236
and 237 of the Constitution and observed  in  paragraph  15  of  the  Report
(pgs. 1993-94) as follows:
           “The  gist  of  the  said  provisions  may   be   stated   thus.
           Appointments of persons to be, and the posting and promotion  of
           district judges in any State shall be made by  the  Governor  of
           the State. There are  two  sources  of  recruitment  namely  (i)
           service of the Union or of the State, and (ii)  members  of  the
           Bar. The said Judges from the  first  source  are  appointed  in
           consultation with the High  Court  and  those  from  the  second
           source are appointed on the recommendation of  the  High  Court.
           But in the case of  appointments  of  persons  to  the  judicial
           service other than as district Judges they will be made  by  the
           Governor of the State in accordance with rules framed by him  in
           consultation  with  the  High  Court  and  the  Public   Service
           Commission. But the High Court has control over all the district
           Courts  and  Courts  subordinate  thereto,  subject  to  certain
           prescribed limitations.”

This Court then in paragraphs 16 and 17 (pg. 1994) of  the  Report  observed
as follows:

            “16.  So far there is no dispute. But the real  conflict  rests
            on the question whether the Governor can  appoint  as  district
            Judges persons from services other than the  judicial  service;
            that is to say, can he appoint a person who is in  the  police,
            excise, revenue or such other service as a district Judge?  The
            acceptance of this position would take  us  back  to  the  pre-
            independence days and that too to the conditions prevailing  in
            the Princely States. In the Princely States one  used  to  come
            across appointments to the judicial  service  from  police  and
            other departments. This would also  cut  across  the  well-knit
            scheme of the Constitution and  the  principle  underlying  it,
            namely,  the  judiciary  shall  be  an   independent   service.
            Doubtless if Art. 233(1) stood alone, it may be argued that the
            Governor may appoint any person as a  district  Judge,  whether
            legally qualified or not, if he belongs to  any  service  under
            the State. But Art. 233(1) is nothing more than  a  declaration
            of  the  general  power  of  the  Governor  in  the  matter  of
            appointment of district  Judges.  It  does  not  lay  down  the
            qualifications of the candidates to be appointed or denote  the
            sources from which the recruitment has  to  be  made.  But  the
            sources of recruitment are indicated in Cl (2)  thereof.  Under
            Cl. (2) of Art. 233 two sources are given, namely, (i)  persons
            in the service of the Union or of the State, and (ii)  advocate
            or pleader. Can it be said that in the context  of  Ch.  VI  of
            Part VI of the Constitution “the service of the Union or of the
            State”  means any service of the Union or of the State or  does
            it mean the judicial service of the Union or of the State?  The
            setting, viz., the chapter dealing with subordinate Courts,  in
            which the expression “the service” appears indicates  that  the
            service mentioned therein is the service pertaining to  Courts.
            That  apart,  Art.  236(2)  defines  the  expression  “judicial
            service” to mean a service consisting  exclusively  of  persons
            intended to fill the post of district  Judge  and  other  civil
            judicial posts inferior to the post of district Judge. If  this
            definition, instead of appearing in Art. 236, is  placed  as  a
            clause before Art. 233(2), there cannot  be  any  dispute  that
            “the service”  in  Art.  233(2)  can  only  mean  the  judicial
            service. The circumstance  that  the  definition  of  “judicial
            service” finds  a  place  in  a  subsequent  Article  does  not
            necessarily lead to a contrary conclusion.  The  fact  that  in
            Article 233(2) the expression “the service” is used whereas  in
            Arts. 234 and 235 the expression “judicial service” is found is
            not decisive  of  the  question  whether  the  expression  “the
            service” in Art.  233(2)  must  be  something  other  than  the
            judicial service, for, the entire chapter is dealing  with  the
            judicial service. The definition is exhaustive of the  service.
            Two expressions in the definition bring out the idea  that  the
            judicial service consists of  hierarchy  of  judicial  officers
            starting from the lowest and ending with district  Judges.  The
            expressions “exclusively” and  “intended”  emphasise  the  fact
            that the judicial service consists only of persons intended  to
            fill up the post of district Judges and  other  civil  judicial
            posts and that is the exclusive service of  judicial  officers.
             Having defined “judicial service” in exclusive  terms,  having
            provided for appointments to that service and having  entrusted
            the control of the said service to the care of the High  Court,
            the makers of the  Constitution  would  not  have  conferred  a
            blanket power on the Governor to appoint any  person  from  any
            service as a district Judge.

            17.  Reliance is placed upon the  decision  of  this  Court  in
            Rameshwar Dayal v. State of  Punjab,  (AIR  1961  SC  816),  in
            support of the contention that “the  service”  in  Art.  233(2)
            means any service under the State. The question  in  that  case
            was, whether a person whose name was on the roll  of  advocates
            of the East Punjab High Court could be appointed as a  district
            Judge. In the course of the judgment S.K. Das, J., speaking for
            the Court, observed :

                 “Article 233 is a self-contained  provision  regarding  the
                 appointment of District Judges.  As  to  a  person  who  is
                 already in the service of the Union or  of  the  State,  no
                 special qualifications are laid down and under Cl. (1)  the
                 Governor can appoint such a person as a district  Judge  in
                 consultation with the relevant High Court. As to  a  person
                 not already in service, a qualification is laid down in Cl.
                 (2) and all that is  required  is  that  he  should  be  an
                 advocate or pleader of seven years’ standing.”

            This passage is nothing more than a  summary  of  the  relevant
            provisions. The question whether “the service” in Art. 233  (2)
            is any service of the Union or of the State did not  arise  for
            consideration in that  case  nor  did  the  Court  express  any
            opinion thereon.”

Explaining the meaning of the expression, ‘the service’, this is  what  this
Court said in paragraph 20 of the Report (Pg. 1995) in Chandra Mohan4.
           “……….Though S. 254(1) of the said Act  was  couched  in  general
           terms similar  to  those  contained  in  Art.  233  (1)  of  the
           Constitution, the said rules did not empower him to  appoint  to
           the reserved post of district Judge  a  person  belonging  to  a
           service other than the judicial  service.  Till  India  attained
           independence,  the  position  was  that  district  Judges   were
           appointed by the Governor from three sources,  namely,  (i)  the
           Indian Civil Service, (ii) the Provincial Judicial Service,  and
           (iii) the Bar. But after India attained  independence  in  1947,
           recruitment to the Indian Civil Service was discontinued and the
           Government of India  decided  that  the  members  of  the  newly
           created  Indian  Administrative  Service  would  not  be   given
           judicial posts. Thereafter district Judges have  been  recruited
           only from either the judicial service or from  the  Bar.   There
           was no case of a member of the executive having been promoted as
           a district Judge. If that was the factual position at  the  time
           the  Constitution  came  into  force,  it  is  unreasonable   to
           attribute  to  the  makers  of  the  Constitution,  who  had  so
           carefully provided for the independence  of  the  judiciary,  an
           intention to destroy the same by an indirect method. What can be
           more deleterious to the good  name  of  the  judiciary  than  to
           permit at the level of district  Judges,  recruitment  from  the
           executive departments? Therefore, the history  of  the  services
           also supports our construction that the expression “the service”
           in Art. 233(2) can only mean the judicial service.”

44.         The Constitution Bench in  Chandra  Mohan4    has  thus  clearly
held that the expression ‘the service’ in Article 233(2) means the  judicial
45.         In Satya Narain Singh5, this Court  again  had  an  occasion  to
consider Article 233  of  the  Constitution.   This  Court  referred  to  an
earlier  decision  of  this  Court  in   Rameshwar  Dayal9   and   construed
Article 233 as follows:

           “…….The first clause deals with “appointments of persons to  be,
           and the posting and promotion of, District Judges in any  State”
           while the second  clause  is  confined  in  its  application  to
           persons “not already in the service  of  the  Union  or  of  the
           State”. We may mention here that “service of the Union or of the
           State” has been interpreted  by  this  Court  to  mean  Judicial
           Service. Again while the first clause makes consultation by  the
           Governor of the State with the High Court necessary, the  second
           clause requires that the High Court must recommend a person  for
           appointment as a District Judge. It is only in  respect  of  the
           persons covered by the second clause that there is a requirement
           that a person shall be  eligible  for  appointment  as  District
           Judge if he has been an advocate or a pleader for not less  than
           7 years. In other words, in the case of candidates who  are  not
           members of a Judicial Service they must have been  advocates  or
           pleaders for  not  less  than  7  years  and  they  have  to  be
           recommended by the High Court before they may  be  appointed  as
           District Judges, while in the case of candidates who are members
           of a Judicial Service the 7 years' rule has no  application  but
           there has to be  consultation  with  the  High  Court.  A  clear
           distinction is made between the two sources of  recruitment  and
           the dichotomy is maintained. The two streams are separate  until
           they come together  by  appointment.  Obviously  the  same  ship
           cannot sail both the streams simultaneously………….”.

After referring to Chandra Mohan4 , this Court  in  paragraph  5  (pg.  230)
stated as under :
           “5. Posing the question whether the expression “the  service  of
           the Union or of the State” meant any service of the Union or  of
           the State or whether it meant the Judicial Service of the  Union
           or of the State, the learned  Chief  Justice  emphatically  held
           that the expression “the service” in Article 233(2)  could  only
           mean the Judicial Service. But he did  not  mean  by  the  above
           statement that persons who are already in the  service,  on  the
           recommendation by the High Court can be  appointed  as  District
           Judges, overlooking the claims  of  all  other  seniors  in  the
           Subordinate Judiciary contrary to Article 14 and Article  16  of
           the Constitution.”

46.         From the above, we have  no  doubt  that  the  expression,  ‘the
service’  in Article 233(2) means the “judicial service”. Other  members  of
the service of Union or State are as it  is  excluded  because  Article  233
contemplates only  two  sources  from  which  the  District  Judges  can  be
appointed.  These  sources  are:  (i)  judicial  service;   and   (ii)   the
advocate/pleader or in other words  from  the  Bar.   District  Judges  can,
thus, be appointed from no  source  other  than  judicial  service  or  from
amongst advocates. Article 233(2) excludes appointment  of  District  Judges
from the judicial   service   and   restricts eligibility of appointment  as
District Judges from amongst the advocates or pleaders  having  practice  of
not less than seven years and who have been recommended by  the  High  Court
as such.
47.         The question that has been raised before us is whether a  Public
Prosecutor/Assistant Public Prosecutor/District Attorney/Assistant  District
Attorney/Deputy Advocate  General,  who  is  in  full  time  employ  of  the
Government, ceases to be an  advocate  or  pleader  within  the  meaning  of
Article 233(2) of the Constitution.
48.         In Kumari Shrilekha Vidyarthi3 , this Court  dealt  with  scheme
of the Cr.P.C. relating to Public Prosecutors and it was held that the  Code
invests the Public Prosecutors with the attribute of the  holder  of  public
office.  In paragraph 14 of the Report (Pgs. 232-233) this Court  stated  as
under :
           “………..This power of the Public Prosecutor in charge of the  case
           is derived from statute and the guiding  consideration  for  it,
           must be the interest of administration of justice. There can  be
           no doubt that this function of the Public Prosecutor relates  to
           a public purpose entrusting him with the  responsibility  of  so
           acting only in the interest of administration of justice. In the
           case of  Public  Prosecutors,  this  additional  public  element
           flowing from  statutory  provisions  in  the  Code  of  Criminal
           Procedure, undoubtedly, invest the Public Prosecutors  with  the
           attribute of holder of a public office which cannot be  whittled
           down  by  the  assertion  that  their   engagement   is   purely
           professional between a client and  his  lawyer  with  no  public
           element attaching to it.”

49.         In  State  of  U.P.  and  Others  v.  U.P.  State  Law  Officers
Association and Others[13], this Court, while  distinguishing  the  judgment
of this Court in  Kumari Shrilekha Vidyarthi3 ,  observed  that  appointment
of lawyers by the Government and the public bodies to conduct work on  their
behalf and their  subsequent  removal  from  such  appointment  have  to  be
examined from three different  angles,  namely,  the  nature  of  the  legal
profession, the interest of the public and the modes of the appointment  and
removal. With regard to the legal profession, this Court said  in  paras  14
and 15 (pg. 216) as under:

           “14.  Legal  profession  is   essentially   a   service-oriented
           profession. The ancestor of today's lawyer was no  more  than  a
           spokesman who rendered his services to the needy members of  the
           society by articulating their case before the  authorities  that
           be.  The  services  were  rendered   without   regard   to   the
           remuneration received or to be  received.  With  the  growth  of
           litigation, lawyering became a full-time occupation and most  of
           the lawyers came to  depend  upon  it  as  the  sole  source  of
           livelihood. The nature of the service rendered  by  the  lawyers
           was private till the Government and the  public  bodies  started
           engaging them to conduct cases on their behalf.  The  Government
           and the public bodies engaged the services of the lawyers purely
           on a contractual basis either for a  specified  case  or  for  a
           specified or an unspecified period.  Although  the  contract  in
           some cases prohibited the lawyers from accepting private briefs,
           the  nature  of  the  contract  did  not  alter  from   one   of
           professional engagement to that of employment. The lawyer of the
           Government or a public body was  not  its  employee  but  was  a
           professional practitioner engaged to do the specified work. This
           is so even today, though the lawyers on the full-time  rolls  of
           the Government and the public bodies are described as their  law
           officers. It is precisely for this reason that in  the  case  of
           such law officers, the saving clause  of  Rule  49  of  the  Bar
           Council of India Rules waives the  prohibition  imposed  by  the
           said rule against the acceptance by  a  lawyer  of  a  full-time

           15. The relationship between the lawyer and his client is one of
           trust and confidence. The client engages a lawyer  for  personal
           reasons and is at liberty  to  leave  him  also,  for  the  same
           reasons.  He  is  under  no  obligation  to  give  reasons   for
           withdrawing his brief from his lawyer. The lawyer in turn is not
           an agent of his client but his dignified, responsible spokesman.
           He is not bound to tell the  court  every  fact  or  urge  every
           proposition of law which his client wants  him  to  do,  however
           irrelevant it may be. He is essentially an adviser to his client
           and is rightly called a  counsel  in  some  jurisdictions.  Once
           acquainted with the facts  of  the  case,  it  is  the  lawyer's
           discretion to choose the facts and the points of  law  which  he
           would advance. Being a responsible officer of the court  and  an
           important adjunct of the administration of justice,  the  lawyer
           also owes a duty to the court as well as to the  opposite  side.
           He has to be fair to ensure that justice  is  done.  He  demeans
           himself if he acts merely as a mouthpiece of  his  client.  This
           relationship between  the  lawyer  and  the  private  client  is
           equally valid between him and the public bodies.”

50.          In  S.B.  Shahane  and  Others  v.  State  of  Maharashtra  and
another[14], this Court  held in para 12 (Pg. 43) as under:

           “12. When  Assistant  Public  Prosecutors  are  appointed  under
           Section 25 of the Code for conducting prosecutions in courts  of
           Magistrates in a district  fairly  and  impartially,  separating
           them from the police  officers  of  the  Police  Department  and
           freeing them from the administrative or disciplinary control  of
           officers  of  the  Police   Department,   are   the   inevitable
           consequential  actions  required  to  be  taken  by  the   State
           Government which appoints  such  Assistant  Public  Prosecutors,
           inasmuch as, taking of such actions  are  statutory  obligations
           impliedly imposed upon it under sub-section  (3)  thereof.  When
           such consequential actions are taken by the State Government  in
           respect of large number of persons appointed as Assistant Public
           Prosecutors, it becomes necessary for putting them on a separate
           cadre of Assistant Public Prosecutors and  creating  a  separate
           Prosecution Department as suggested by the Law Commission in its
           Report making those  Assistant  Public  Prosecutors  subject  to
           control of their  superiors  in  the  hierarchy  in  matters  of
           administration and discipline, with the head of such Prosecution
           Department  being  made  directly  responsible  to   the   State
           Government  in  respect  of  conduct  of  prosecutions  by   the
           Assistant  Public  Prosecutors  of  his  department.  Since  the
           aforesaid notification dated 1-4-1974 issued by  the  Government
           of Maharashtra under Section 25 of the Code merely appoints  the
           appellants  and  others,  as  mentioned  in  Schedule   to   the
           notification, the police prosecutors of the Police Department as
           Assistant Public  Prosecutors  without  freeing  such  Assistant
           Public Prosecutors  from  the  administrative  and  disciplinary
           control of the Police Department to which they belonged earlier,
           and without creating a separate department  of  prosecution  for
           them with the head of that department or departments being  made
           directly  responsible  to  the  Government,  the  Government  of
           Maharashtra has failed to  discharge  its  statutory  obligation
           impliedly imposed upon it in that regard under  sub-section  (3)
           of Section 25 of the Code.”

51.         In Sushma Suri6, a three-Judge Bench of  this  Court  considered
the meaning of the expression “advocate”  occurring in Article  233  (2)  of
the Constitution and unamended Rule 49 of the BCI Rules. In paragraph  6  of
the Report (Pg. 335) this Court held as under :

           “6. If a person on being  enrolled  as  an  advocate  ceases  to
           practise law and takes up an employment, such a person can by no
           stretch of imagination be termed as an advocate. However,  if  a
           person who is on the rolls of any Bar Council is engaged  either
           by employment or otherwise of the Union  or  the  State  or  any
           corporate body or person practises before a court as an advocate
           for and on behalf of such Government, corporation  or  authority
           or person, the question is whether such a  person  also  answers
           the description of an  advocate  under  the  Act.  That  is  the
           precise question arising for our consideration in this case.”

Then in paragraph 8  of  the  Report,  this  Court  observed  that  for  the
purposes of  the  1961  Act  and  the  BCI  Rules,  a  law  officer  (Public
Prosecutor or Government Pleader) would continue  to  be  an  advocate.  Not
accepting the view of Delhi High  Court  in  Oma  Shanker  Sharma  v.  Delhi
Administration case (C.W.P. No. 1961 of 1987), this Court having  regard  to
the object of recruitment under Article 233(2)  held in  paragraph  9   (Pg.
           “………To restrict it to advocates  who  are  not  engaged  in  the
           manner stated by us earlier in this order is too narrow a  view,
           for the object of recruitment is to  get  persons  of  necessary
           qualification, experience and knowledge of  life.  A  Government
           Counsel may be a Public Prosecutor or Government Advocate  or  a
           Government Pleader. He too gets experience in  handling  various
           types of cases apart from  dealing  with  the  officers  of  the
           Government. Experience gained by such persons who fall  in  this
           description cannot be stated to be irrelevant nor detrimental to
           selection to the posts  of  the  Higher  Judicial  Service.  The
           expression “members of the Bar” in the relevant Rule would  only
           mean  that  particular  class  of  persons  who   are   actually
           practising in courts of law as pleaders or advocates. In a  very
           general sense an advocate is a person who  acts  or  pleads  for
           another in a court and if a Public Prosecutor  or  a  Government
           Counsel is on the rolls of the Bar Council and  is  entitled  to
           practise under  the  Act,  he  answers  the  description  of  an

With regard to unamended Rule 49 of the BCI Rules, this Court held as  under
           “10. Under Rule 49  of  the  Bar  Council  of  India  Rules,  an
           advocate shall not  be  a  full-time  employee  of  any  person,
           Government, firm, corporation or concern and on taking  up  such
           employment,  shall  intimate  such  fact  to  the  Bar   Council
           concerned and shall cease to practise as long as he is  in  such
           employment. However, an exception is made in such cases  of  law
           officers of the Government  and  corporate  bodies  despite  his
           being a full-time salaried  employee  if  such  law  officer  is
           required to act or plead in court on behalf  of  others.  It  is
           only to those who fall into other categories of employment  that
           the bar under Rule 49 would apply. An advocate employed  by  the
           Government or a body corporate as its law officer even on  terms
           of payment of salary would not cease to be an advocate in  terms
           of Rule 49 if the condition is that such advocate is required to
           act or plead in courts on behalf  of  the  employer.  The  test,
           therefore, is not whether such person is  engaged  on  terms  of
           salary or by payment of remuneration, but whether he is  engaged
           to act or plead on its behalf in a court of law as an  advocate.
           In that event the terms of engagement will not  matter  at  all.
           What is of essence is as to what such law officer engaged by the
           Government does — whether he acts or pleads in court  on  behalf
           of his employer or otherwise. If he is not acting or pleading on
           behalf of his employer, then he ceases to be an advocate. If the
           terms of engagement are such that he does not  have  to  act  or
           plead, but does other kinds of work,  then  he  becomes  a  mere
           employee of the Government or the body corporate. Therefore, the
           Bar Council of India has understood the expression “advocate” as
           one who is actually practising before  courts  which  expression
           would include even those who are law officers appointed as  such
           by the Government or body corporate.”

52.         The authority most strongly relied on   for  the  appellants  is
the decision of this Court in Sushma Suri6.  Their contention  is  that  the
decision in Sushma Suri6  is on all fours irrespective of amendment in  Rule
49 of the BCI Rules. On the other hand, the High Court has held  –  and  the
respondent (successful writ petitioner) supports the view of the High  Court
– that Rule 49 in the present  form  has  altered  the  legal  position  and
Sushma Suri6  has no application.  We shall deal with this aspect  a  little
 53.        In Satish Kumar Sharma7, the facts were these  :  the  appellant
was initially appointed as Assistant (Legal) by the Himachal  Pradesh  State
Electricity Board (for short, ‘Board’); the said post was  re-designated  as
Law Officer Grade-II. Later on, the appellant  was  allowed  to  act  as  an
advocate of the Board and, accordingly, his application  seeking  enrollment
was sent by the Board to the  Bar  Council  of  Himachal  Pradesh.  The  Bar
Council of Himachal Pradesh communicated to the  Board  that  the  appellant
did not meet the requirements of the Rules; he should  be  first  designated
as Law  Officer  and  the  order  of  appointment  and  the  terms  of  such
appointment be communicated. Consequent on the communication  received  from
the Bar Council of Himachal Pradesh, the Board designated the  appellant  as
Law Officer. The Bar Council of Himachal Pradesh  issued  a  certificate  of
enrolment dated 9.7.1984 to the appellant. Subsequently, the  appellant  was
given ad hoc promotion to  the  post  of  Under  Secretary,  (Legal)-cum-Law
Officer and then promoted as Under  Secretary,  (Legal)-cum-Law  Officer  on
officiating basis. Bar Council of Himachal Pradesh issued a  notice  to  the
appellant to show cause why his enrolment be not  withdrawn.  The  appellant
responded to the said notice. In the meanwhile, appellant was also  promoted
as Deputy Secretary (Legal)-cum-Law Officer on ad hoc basis.  On  12.5.1996,
the Bar  Council  of  Himachal  Pradesh  passed  an  order  withdrawing  the
enrolment of the  appellant  with  immediate  effect  and  directed  him  to
surrender the enrolment certificate within 15 days therefrom.  It  was  this
resolution which  was  challenged  by  the  appellant  before  the  Himachal
Pradesh High Court. However, he was unsuccessful before the High  Court  and
he approached this Court. This Court referred to Sections 24, 28 and  49  of
the 1961 Act and Rule 49 of the BCI Rules. This Court  also  considered  the
terms of appointment, nature of duties and service  conditions  relating  to
the appellant and in paragraph 17 (Pg. 377) of the Report noted  as  follows
           “17. Looking to the various appointment/promotion orders  issued
           by the  Board  to  the  appellant  and  regulation  of  business
           relating to Legal Cell  of  the  Board  aforementioned,  we  can
           gather that:
           (1) the appellant was a full-time salaried employee at the  time
           of his enrolment as an advocate and continues to be so,  getting
           fixed scales of pay;
           (2) he is governed by the conditions of  service  applicable  to
           the employees of the Board including  disciplinary  proceedings.
           When asked by us, the learned counsel  for  the  appellant  also
           confirmed the same;
           (3) he joined the services of the Board as a temporary Assistant
           (Legal) and continues to head the Legal Cell after promotions, a
           wing in the Secretariat of the Board;
           (4) his duties were/are not exclusively  or  mostly  to  act  or
           plead in courts; and
           (5) promotions were given from time to time in higher pay scales
           as is done in case of other employees of the Board on the  basis
           of recommendation of Departmental Promotion Committee.”

53.1.       Then with regard to Rule 49 of the  BCI  Rules,  this  Court  in
paragraph 18 (pgs. 377-378) observed as under :
           “18. On a proper and careful  analysis,  having  regard  to  the
           plain language and clear terms of Rule 49 extracted above, it is
           clear that:
           (i) the main and opening paragraph of the rule prohibits or bars
           an advocate from being a  full-time  salaried  employee  of  any
           person, Government, firm, corporation or concern so long  as  he
           continues to practice and an obligation is cast on  an  advocate
           who takes up any such employment to intimate the fact to the Bar
           Council concerned and he shall cease to practice so long  as  he
           continues in such employment;
           (ii) para 2 of the rule is in the nature of an exception to  the
           general rule contained in main and opening paragraph of it.  The
           bar created in para 1 will not be applicable to Law Officers  of
           the Central Government or a State or any public  corporation  or
           body constituted by a statute, if  they  are  given  entitlement
           under the rules of their State Bar Council. To put it  in  other
           way, this provision is an enabling provision. If in the rules of
           any State  Bar  Council,  a  provision  is  made  entitling  Law
           Officers of the Government or authorities mentioned  above,  the
           bar contained in Rule 49 shall not apply to  such  Law  Officers
           despite they being full-time salaried employees;
           (iii) not every Law Officer but only a person who is  designated
           as Law Officer by the terms of his appointment and  who  by  the
           said terms is required to act and/or plead in courts  on  behalf
           of his employer can avail the benefit of the exception contained
           in para 2 of Rule 49.”

53.2.       In paragraph 19, this  Court  noted  that  no  rules  have  been
framed by the Bar Council of Himachal Pradesh  in  respect  of  Law  Officer
appointed as a full time salaried employee and if  there  are  no  rules  in
this regard then there is no entitlement for enrolment and  the  appellant’s
case could not fit in the exception of Rule 49 and the bar contained in  the
first paragraph of Rule 49 was attracted. It also noted that  the  appellant
was/is a full time  salaried  employee  and  his  work  was  not  mainly  or
exclusively to act or plead in the Court. The decision in Sushma  Suri6  was
held to be of no help to the case of the appellant. In  paragraph  23  (Pgs.
380-381), the Court observed that  the work being done by the appellant  was
different from Prosecutors and Government Pleaders  in  relation  to  acting
and pleading in court. This is what the Court said :
           “23. We find no merit in the ground urged that the appellant was
           discriminated  against  the  prosecutors  and   the   government
           pleaders. The duties, nature of work and service  conditions  of
           the appellant, details of which are  already  given  above,  are
           substantially different from the duties and nature  of  work  of
           prosecutors and government pleaders particularly in relation  to
           acting and pleading in court. Thus  the  appellant  stood  on  a
           different footing. The High Court in paras 24-26 has dealt  with
           this aspect of the case and rightly rejected the argument  based
           on the ground of discrimination.”

54.         In State of U.P. & Another v.  Johri  Mal[15]  ,  a  three-Judge
Bench of this Court while dealing with the  nature  of  the  office  of  the
District Government Counsel, held in paras 71, 72, 73 and  74  (pgs.744-745)
as under:
           “71. The District Government Counsel  appointed  for  conducting
           civil as also criminal cases hold offices of  great  importance.
           They  are  not  only  officers  of  the  court  but   also   the
           representatives of the State. The court reposes a great deal  of
           confidence in them. Their opinion  in  a  matter  carries  great
           weight. They are supposed to render  independent,  fearless  and
           non-partisan views before the court irrespective of  the  result
           of litigation which may ensue.

           72. The Public Prosecutors have greater responsibility. They are
           required to perform statutory duties independently having regard
           to  various  provisions  contained  in  the  Code  of   Criminal
           Procedure and in particular Section 320 thereof.

           73. The Public Prosecutors and the Government  Counsel  play  an
           important  role  in  administration  of  justice.  Efforts   are
           required to be made to improve the management of prosecution  in
           order to increase the certainty of conviction and punishment for
           most serious offenders and repeaters. The prosecutors should not
           be overburdened with too many cases of widely varying degrees of
           seriousness with too few  assistants  and  inadequate  financial
           resources. The prosecutors are required to  play  a  significant
           role in the administration of justice by prosecuting only  those
           who should be prosecuted and releasing or directing the  use  of
           non-punitive methods of treatment of  those  whose  cases  would
           best be processed.

           74. The District Government Counsel represent the  State.  They,
           thus, represent the interest of  the  general  public  before  a
           court of  law.  The  Public  Prosecutors  while  presenting  the
           prosecution case have a duty to see that  innocent  persons  may
           not be convicted as well as an accused guilty of  commission  of
           crime does not go unpunished. Maintenance of law  and  order  in
           the society and, thus, to some extent maintenance of rule of law
           which is the basic fibre for upholding  the  rule  of  democracy
           lies in their hands. The Government  Counsel,  thus,  must  have
           character, competence, sufficient experience as also standing at
           the Bar.  The  need  for  employing  meritorious  and  competent
           persons to keep the standard  of  the  high  offices  cannot  be
           minimised. The holders  of  the  post  have  a  public  duty  to
           perform. Public element is, thus, involved therein.”

55.         In Mahesh Chandra Gupta v. Union of India and  Others[16],  with
reference to the provisions contained in the Legal Practitioners Act,  1879,
the 1926 Act and the 1961 Act,  this Court  observed as follows:
           “66. Thus, it becomes clear from the legal history of  the  1879
           Act, the 1926 Act and the 1961 Act that they  all  deal  with  a
           person's right to practise or entitlement to practise. The  1961
           Act only seeks to create a common Bar consisting of one class of
           members, namely, advocates. Therefore, in  our  view,  the  said
           expression “an advocate of a High Court”  as  understood,  both,
           pre and post 1961, referred  to  person(s)  right  to  practise.
           Therefore, actual practise cannot be read into the qualification
           provision, namely, Article 217(2)(b). The legal  implication  of
           the 1961 Act is that any person whose name is  enrolled  on  the
           State Bar Council would be regarded as “an advocate of the  High
           Court”. The substance of Article 217(2)(b) is that it prescribes
           an eligibility criteria based on “right  to  practise”  and  not
           actual practice.”

56.         The Karnataka High Court in Mallaraddi H. Itagi  and  Others  v.
The High Court of Karnataka, Bangalore  and  Another[17]  was,  inter  alia,
concerned with the question whether the petitioners,  who  were  working  as
either Assistant Public Prosecutors or Senior Assistant  Public  Prosecutors
or Public Prosecutors, were eligible to be  considered  for  appointment  as
District Judges under Article 233(2) of  the  Constitution  and  Rule  2  of
Karnataka  Judicial  Services  (Recruitment)   Rules,   1983   (for   short,
‘Karnataka Recruitment  Rules’).  The  Division  Bench  of  the  High  Court
considered the relevant provisions  and  the  decisions  of  this  Court  in
Sushma Suri6 and Satya Narain Singh5.  The  High  Court  held  that   having
regard  to  the  provisions  in  the  Karnataka   Recruitment   Rules,   the
petitioners were civil servants in the employment of  the  State  Government
and could not be treated as practicing advocates from  the  date  they  were
appointed to the post of Assistant Public Prosecutors. The High  Court  took
into consideration Rule 49 of the BCI Rules and held as under (Pg. 86-88):
           “The petitioners 1 to 9 came to be appointed as Assistant Public
           Prosecutors/Senior    Assistant    Public     Prosecutors/Public
           Prosecutors in terms of the  Recruitment  Rules  framed  by  the
           State Government. Therefore, in  terms  of  the  main  provision
           contained in Rule 49 of the Bar  Council  of  India  Rules,  the
           petitioners on their appointment as Assistant Public Prosecutors
           ceased to be practising Advocates. Further,  as  noticed  by  us
           earlier,  when  once  the  petitioners  had  surrendered   their
           Certificate of Practice and suspended their practice in terms of
           Rule 5 of the Bar Council of India Rules, it is not possible  to
           take  the  view  that  they  still  continue  to  be  practising
           Advocates. The  rules  which  prescribe  the  qualification  for
           appointment to the post of District Judges by direct recruitment
           provides that an applicant must be practising on the  last  date
           fixed for submission of application, as  an  Advocate  and  must
           have so practised for not less than 7 years as on such date. The
           case of Sushma Suri, supra, does not  deal  with  the  situation
           where the  Law  Officers  had  surrendered  the  Certificate  of
           Practice and suspended their practice. The facts  of  that  case
           indicates that the Hon'ble Supreme Court proceeded on the  basis
           that the exception provided to Rule 49 of the Rules  applies  to
           the Law Officers in that case inasmuch as the  Law  Officers  in
           those cases were designated by terms of their appointment as Law
           Officers for the purpose  of  appearing  before  the  Courts  on
           behalf of their employers. Therefore, facts of those  cases  are
           different from the facts of the case of petitioners 1 to 9.  The
           rule similar to  the  one  before  us  which  provides  that  an
           Advocate must be a  practising  Advocate  on  the  date  of  the
           submission of the application did  not  fall  for  consideration
           before the Hon'ble Supreme  Court.  The  Delhi  Higher  Judicial
           Services Rules, 1970 did not provide that an Advocate should  be
           a  practising  Advocate  on  the  date  of  submission  of   his
           application. Under these circumstances, in our considered  view,
           the observation made by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of
           Sushma Suri, supra, at paragraph 8  of  the  judgment  which  is
           strongly relied upon by the learned Counsel for the  petitioners
           wherein it is stated that "for purposes of the Advocates Act and
           the Rules framed thereunder the Law Officer  (Public  Prosecutor
           or Government Counsel) will continue  to  be  an  Advocate.  The
           intention of the relevant rules is that a candidate eligible for
           appointment to the higher judicial service should  be  a  person
           who regularly, practices before the Court or Tribunal  appearing
           for a client" has no application to the  facts  of  the  present
           case.  As  noticed  by  us,  the  qualification  prescribed  for
           Assistant Public Prosecutor is three years  of  practice  as  an
           Advocate  on  the  date  of  submission  of   application.   The
           qualification prescribed for recruitment to the post of Munsiff,
           i.e., Civil Judge (Junior Division) is that an applicant, on the
           last date  fixed  for  submission  of  application,  must  be  a
           practising Advocate and must have practiced for  not  less  than
           four years on the date of application; or who is working  as  an
           Assistant Public Prosecutor/Senior Assistant  Public  Prosecutor
           or as a Public Prosecutor in the Department of Prosecutions  and
           must have so worked for not less than 4 years as on the date  of
           application. Therefore, the Assistant Public  Prosecutors/Senior
           Assistant Public Prosecutor/Assistant Public Prosecutor are made
           eligible for appointment only to  the  post  of  Munsiffs  Civil
           Judge (Junior Division) under the Recruitment Rules.  But,  they
           are not  made  eligible  under  the  Rules  for  appointment  as
           District Judges.  Therefore,  when  the  Rule  making  Authority
           itself has  not  made  the  Assistant  Public  Prosecutor/Senior
           Assistant Public Prosecutor/Public Prosecutor  as  eligible  for
           appointment  to  the  post  of  District  Judges,  it   is   not
           permissible to  treat  the  Assistant  Public  Prosecutor/Senior
           Assistant  Public  Prosecutor/Public  Prosecutor  as  practising
           Advocates by judicial  interpretation  and  by  giving  extended
           meaning to make them eligible for appointment  to  the  post  of
           District Judges.”

With reference to the  decision of this Court in Satya Narain Singh5  ,  the
Karnataka High  Court held as under (Pg. 88-89) :
           “The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Satya Narain Singh  v.
           High Court of Judicature at Allahabad and  Ors.,  1985  (1)  SCC
           225, while interpreting Sub-clause (2) of  Article  233  of  the
           Constitution of India has taken the  view  that  "a  person  not
           already in service of Union or of the  State"  shall  mean  only
           officers in judicial service and the Judicial Officers  who  are
           already in service are not eligible for appointment  in  respect
           of the post reserved for direct recruitment under Sub-clause (2)
           of Article 233 of the  Constitution  of  India.  Therefore,  the
           Judicial Officers who are in the State services  are  ineligible
           for appointment in  respect  of  direct  recruitment  vacancies.
           However, if the argument of the learned Counsel for  petitioners
           is accepted as correct,  the  Assistant  Public  Prosecutor  and
           Senior Assistant Public Prosecutor who are  only  made  eligible
           under the Recruitment Rules to the post of Munsiffs which is the
           lowest cadre in the District Judiciary  would  be  eligible  for
           appointment to the post of District Judges  in  respect  of  the
           posts reserved for direct recruitment vacancies.  In  our  view,
           the acceptance of such a position would lead  to  discrimination
           between the officers of the State who are in  judicial  services
           on  the  one  hand  and  Assistant  Public  Prosecutors,  Senior
           Assistant Public  Prosecutors  and  Public  Prosecutors  on  the
           other. While considering the contention of the  learned  Counsel
           for the petitioners that the Assistant Public  Prosecutor/Senior
           Assistant Public Prosecutor/Public Prosecutors should be treated
           as  practising  Advocates,  this   Court   cannot   ignore   the
           consequence of  resultant  incongruous  situation,  if  such  an
           argument is accepted. We  are  also  unable  to  accede  to  the
           submission of the learned Counsel for the  petitioners  that  so
           long as the names of the petitioners 1 to 9 are not removed from
           the Rolls of State Bar Council, the said  petitioners  would  be
           practising Advocates. In our view, there is  no  merit  in  this
           submission.  No  doubt,  Section  2(a)  of  the  Advocates   Act
           (hereinafter  referred  to  as  the  "Act")  provides  that  "an
           'Advocate' means an Advocate  entered  in  any  roll  under  the
           provisions of Advocates Act". That does not  mean  the  Advocate
           who has surrendered the Certificate of Practice to the State Bar
           Council and who has suspended his practice also can  be  treated
           either as an Advocate or as a practising Advocate. May  be  that
           once a Law graduate enrolls himself as  an  Advocate,  his  name
           finds a place in the Rolls of the State Bar Council till  it  is
           removed from the Rolls of the State  Bar  Council  in  terms  of
           Clause (d) of Sub-section (3) of Section 35  of  the  Act.  But,
           that does not mean a person who has suspended  his  practice  on
           securing a full time appointment can still be  considered  as  a
           practising Advocate. This conclusion of ours gets  support  from
           the Sub-section (4) of Section 35  of  the  Act  wherein  it  is
           provided that where an  Advocate  is  suspended  from  practice,
           during the period of suspension he is debarred  from  practising
           in any Court  or  before  any  authority  or  person  in  India.
           Therefore, if the object of surrendering Certificate of Practice
           and suspending the practice is to give up the right to  practice
           before the Court; the petitioners 1 to 9 who  were  required  to
           surrender the Certificate of Practice and who have so  suspended
           their practice, cannot in our view, be held either as  Advocates
           or as practising Advocates. In our view, during  the  period  of
           suspension of practice, such a person ceases to be an  Advocate;
           and continuance of his name on the Rolls of Bar Council is of no
           consequence so far as his right to  practice  is  concerned  and
           such  a  person  cannot  designate  himself  as   an   Advocate.
           Therefore, we are of the view that the petitioners 1  to  9  not
           being practising Advocates on the date of  submission  of  their
           applications, they are not eligible for appointment as  District
           Judges in terms of the qualification prescribed. Therefore,  the
           Selection Committee has, in our view, rightly rejected the claim
           of the petitioners 1 to 9 for appointment as District Judges and
           they were rightly not  called  for  interview.  The  petitioners
           cannot have any grievance on that account.”

57.         The judgment of  the  Karnataka  High  Court  in  Mallaraddi  H.
Itagi17  was challenged before this Court. This Court dismissed the  appeals
on 18.05.2009[18]  and, upholding the judgment of the High  Court,  observed
as follows:

           “7.    On that basis the Court came to the conclusion  that  the
           appellant therein was not liable to  be  considered  as  he  was
           holding a regular post.  In paragraph 19 it was observed:

              “These orders clearly show that the appellant was required to
              work in the Legal Cell of the Secretariat of the Board;   was
              given  different  pay  scales;  rules   of   seniority   were
              applicable; promotions were given to him on the basis of  the
              recommendations of the Departmental Promotion Committee;  was
              amenable to disciplinary proceedings, etc.

                 Further looking to the nature of duties of Legal  Cell  as
              stated in the regulation of business of the  Board  extracted
              above, the appellant  being  a  full-time  salaried  employee
              had/has to attend to  so  many  duties  which  appear  to  be
              substantial and predominant. In short and substance  we  find
              that the appellant was/is a full-time salaried  employee  and
              his work was not mainly or exclusively to  act  or  plead  in

                 Further, there may be various challenges in courts of  law
              assailing or relating to the decisions/actions taken  by  the
              appellant himself such as challenge  to  issue  of  statutory
              regulation, notification, the institution/ withdrawal of  any
              prosecution or other legal/quasi-legal proceedings etc.    In
              a  given  situation  the  appellant  may   be   amenable   to
              disciplinary jurisdiction  of  his  employer  and/or  to  the
              disciplinary jurisdiction of the Bar Council.  There could be
              conflict of duties and  interest.   In  such  an  event,  the
              appellant would be in an embarrassing position to  plead  and
              conduct a case in a court of law.

              Moreover, mere  occasional  appearances  in  some  courts  on
              behalf of the Board even if they be, in  our  opinion,  could
              not bring the appellant with  the meaning of “Law Officer” in
              terms of para 3 of Rule 49.”

           and  has also taken a view  that in a situation  like  this  the
           decision in Sushma Suri case is not applicable.     We  have  no
           reason to take any different view, as had already been taken  by
           this court, as the situation is not different.   It  is  already
           considered before  the  High  Court  that  the  appellants  were
           holding a regular post  they were having the regular pay  scale,
           they were  considered for promotion, they were employed  by  the
           State Government Rules and  therefore  they  were  actually  the
           Government servants when they made applications for the posts of
           District Judges.”

58.         The decision of the Karnataka High  Court   in    Mallaraddi  H.
Itagi17   and the judgment of  this  Court18    in  the  appeals  from  that
decision have been heavily relied on by the  respondent  –  successful  writ

59.         Few decisions rendered by some of the High Courts on  the  point
may also be noticed here.   In Sudhakar  Govindrao  Deshpande11,  the  issue
that fell for consideration before the Bombay High  Court  was  whether  the
petitioner therein who was serving as Deputy Registrar at the  Nagpur  Bench
of the Bombay High Court, was eligible for  appointment to the post  of  the
District Judge.  The  advertisement  that  was  issued  by  the  High  Court
inviting applications  for  five  posts  of  District  Judges,  inter  alia,
stated, ‘candidate must  ordinarily  be  an  advocate  or  pleader  who  has
practised in the High Court, Bombay or Court  subordinate  thereto  for  not
less than seven years on the 1st October, 1980’.  The Single  Judge  of  the
Bombay High Court considered Articles 233, 234 and 309 of the  Constitution,
relevant Recruitment Rules  and   noted  the  judgments  of  this  Court  in
Chandra Mohan4, Satya Narain Singh5 and Rameshwar Dayal9. It  was   observed
as follows:
           “ . . . . . . . . the phrase "has been an Advocate or a pleader"
           must be interpreted as a person who has been  immediately  prior
           to his appointment  a member of the Bar, that is to  say  either
           an Advocate or a pleader. In fact, in the  above  judgment,  the
           Supreme Court has repeatedly referred to  the  second  group  of
           persons eligible  for  appointment  under  Article  233  (2)  as
           "members of the Bar". Article 233(2)  therefore, when it  refers
           to a person who has been  for  not  less  than  seven  years  an
           Advocate or pleader refers to a member of the Bar who is of  not
           less than seven years' standing.”

60.         In Smt. Jyoti Gupta v. Registrar General, High  Court  of  M.P.,
Jabalpur and Another[19], Madhya Pradesh High Court was concerned  with  the
question as to whether the Assistant Public  Prosecutors  were  eligible  to
apply for appointment to the post of District  Judges.  The  Madhya  Pradesh
High Court held as under :
           “. . . . . . A careful reading  of  the  note  provided  in  the
           exception states that nothing in Rule 49 of the Bar  Council  of
           India Rules  shall  apply  to  a  Law  Officer  of  the  Central
           Government, State Government or a body corporate who is entitled
           to be enrolled under the rules of the State  Bar  Council  under
           Section 28(2)(d) read with Section  24(1)(e)  of  the  Advocates
           Act, 1961 despite  his  being  a  full-time  salaried  employee.
           Hence, the exception to Rule 49 has been provided because of the
           provisions in the Rules of State Bar Council made under  Section
           28(2)(d) read with Section 24(1)(e) of the Advocates  Act,  1961
           for a Law  Officer  of  the  Central  Government  or  the  State
           Government or a body corporate to be admitted into the  roll  of
           the State Bar Council if he is required  by  the  terms  of  his
           appointment to act and/or plead  in  Courts  on  behalf  of  his
           employer. In other words, if the rules made  by  the  State  Bar
           Council under Section 28(2)(d) read with Section 24(1)(e) of the
           Advocates Act,  1961  provide  for  admission  as  an  Advocate,
           enrolment in the State Bar Council  as  an  Advocate  or  a  Law
           Officer of the Central Government or the State Government  or  a
           body corporate, who, by the terms of his employment, is required
           to act and/or plead in Courts on behalf of his employer, he  can
           be admitted as an Advocate and enrolled in the State Bar Council
           by virtue of the provisions of Sections 24(1)(e) and 28(2)(d) of
           the Advocates Act, 1961 and the rules  made  thereunder  by  the
           State Bar Council and he does not cease to be an Advocate on his
           becoming such Law  Officer  of  the  Central  Government,  State
           Government or a body corporate. As we have seen, the  State  Bar
           Council of M.P. has provided under Proviso(i) of Rule 143 that a
           Law Officer of the Central Government or a Government  of  State
           or a public corporation or a body constituted by a statute,  who
           by the terms of his appointment, is required to act and/or plead
           in Courts on behalf of his employer, is qualified to be admitted
           as an Advocate even though  he  may  be  in  full  or  part-time
           service  or  employment  of  such  Central   Government,   State
           Government, public corporation or a body corporate. The position
           of law, therefore, has not materially altered after the deletion
           of the note contained in the exception under Rule 49 of the  Bar
           Council of India Rules by the resolution of the Bar  council  of
           India, dated 22nd June, 2001.
           In the result, we hold that if a person has been enrolled as  an
           Advocate under the Advocates Act, 1961 and has  thereafter  been
           appointed as Public Prosecutor/Assistant  Public  Prosecutor  or
           Assistant District Public Prosecutor and by  the  terms  of  his
           appointment continues to conduct cases on behalf  of  the  State
           Government before the Criminal Courts, he does not cease  to  be
           an  Advocate  within  the  meaning  of  Article  233(2)  of  the
           Constitution and Rule 7(1)(c)  of  M.P.  Uchchatar  Nyayik  Sewa
           (Bharti Tatha Sewa Shartein) Niyam,  1994  for  the  purpose  of
           recruitment to the post of District Judge (Entry Level)  in  the
           M.P. Higher Judicial Service.”

61.         In K. Appadurai v. The Secretary to  Government  of  Tamil  Nadu
and Another[20], one of the questions under consideration before the  Madras
High Court was  whether  for appointment to   the  post  of  District  Judge
(Entry Level),  the applications could have been invited from the  Assistant
Public Prosecutor (Grade I & II). The Division Bench of that Court  referred
to Article 233 of the Constitution,  Rule  49  of  the  BCI  Rules  and  the
decisions of this Court in  Satya  Narain  Singh5,  Chandra  Mohan4,  Sushma
Suri6, Johri Mal15 and Satish Kumar Sharma7.  The  Division  Bench  held  as

           “22. In the light of the ratio laid down by the Supreme Court in
           the decisions quoted hereinbefore, it can  safely  be  concluded
           that the nature of duties of the Assistant Public Prosecutors is
           to act and plead in Courts of Law on  behalf  of  the  State  as
           Advocates. Even after becoming Assistant Public Prosecutors they
           continue to practice as advocates and plead the cases on  behalf
           of the Government and  their  names  remained  in  the  roll  of
           advocates maintained by the Bar Council. As  Public  Prosecutors
           they acquired much experience in dealing criminal cases.

           23. It was argued on behalf of the  petitioners  that  the  note
           appended to Rule 49 of the Bar Council  of  India  Rules  having
           been deleted by a resolution dated 22nd June, 2001  of  the  Bar
           Council of India, the ratio decided  by  the  Supreme  Court  in
           Sushma Suri Case (supra)  will  not  apply,  and  therefore,  an
           advocate who is employed as a full time salaried employee of the
           government, ceases to practice as an  advocate  so  long  as  he
           continues in such employment. The submission made by the counsel
           has no substance.

           24. As noticed above, Rule 49 of the Bar Council of India  Rules
           provides an exception where in  case  of  Law  Officers  of  the
           government and corporate bodies, despite they being employed  by
           the  government  as  Law  Officers,  they  cannot  cease  to  be
           advocates so long as they are required to plead in  the  courts.
           For example, Assistant Public Prosecutors so  appointed  by  the
           government on payment of salary their only nature of work is  to
           act, plead and defend on behalf of the  State  as  an  advocate.
           Hence, an advocate employed by the  government  as  Law  Officer
           namely, an Assistant Public Prosecutor on terms  of  payment  of
           salary would not cease to be an advocate in terms of Rule 49  of
           the Bar Council of India Rules for the purpose  of  appointment,
           as such advocate is required to act or plead in courts on behalf
           of the State. If, in terms of the appointment,  an  advocate  is
           made a Law Officer on payment of salary to discharge his  duties
           at the Secretariat and handle the legal files, he ceased  to  be
           an advocate. In our considered opinion, therefore, the  deletion
           of the note appended to under Rule 49  of  the  Bar  Council  of
           India Rules will not in any way affect the legal proposition  of
           law. We are also of the view that in the light of  the  relevant
           clauses of the  Advocates  Act,  1961  it  will  not  debar  the
           Assistant Public Prosecutors to continue and plead in courts  as
           an advocate.”

62.         In   Biju Babu10 , the question before  the  Kerala  High  Court
was whether the appellant, who was a  Public  Prosecutor  appointed  by  the
Central Government to  conduct  cases  for  the  C.B.I.,  was  eligible  for
appointment to the post  of  District  Judge  in  the  Kerala  State  Higher
Judicial Service  by  direct  recruitment.   The  High  Court  answered  the
question in the negative mainly relying on amended Rule 49 of the BCI  Rules
and the legal position stated by this Court in Satish Kumar Sharma7.
63.         Two more judgments of this Court may be  quickly  noticed  here.
In State of U.P. v.  Ramesh  Chandra  Sharma  and  others[21],   this  Court
stated that  the  appointment  of  any  legal  practitioner  as  a  District
Government Counsel  is only professional engagement.  A two-Judge  Bench  of
this Court in  Samarendra  Das,  Advocate   v.  State  of  West  Bengal  and
others[22] was concerned with the question whether  the  post  of  Assistant
Public Prosecutor was a civil post under the State of West Bengal  in  terms
of Section 15 of the Administrative Tribunals   Act  1985.  While  answering
the above question in the affirmative, this Court  held  that  the  post  of
Assistant Public Prosecutor  was  a  civil  post.   The  Court  negated  the
argument that the Assistant Public Prosecutor was an officer  of  the  Court
of Judicial Magistrate.
64.         After the arguments were concluded  in  these  matters  and  the
judgment was reserved,   Respondent No. 1  (original  writ  petitioner)  has
circulated  a judgment of the Bombay High Court in Sunanda  Bhimrao  Chaware
& Ors. v. The High Court of Judicature at Bombay,  delivered  on  17.10.2012
by the Full Bench of that Court.  We  are  not  inclined  to  consider  this
judgment for two reasons.  One, the appellants had no  occasion  to  respond
to  or  explain  that  judgment.   Secondly,  and  equally  important,   the
aggrieved parties by that judgment, who are not before us,  may  be  advised
to challenge the judgment.  We do not intend to foreclose the rights of  the
parties one way or the other.
65.         Section 24 Cr.P.C.  provides  that  for  every  High  Court  the
Central  Government  or  the  State  Government  shall  appoint   a   Public
Prosecutor. The Central Government or the State Government may also  appoint
one or more Additional Public Prosecutor for conducting in such  court,  any
prosecution, appeal or  other  proceedings  on  their  behalf.  The  Central
Government may appoint one or more Public Prosecutors  for  the  purpose  of
conducting any case or class  of  cases  in  any  district  or  local  area.
Insofar as  State  Government  is  concerned  it  provides  that  for  every
district it shall appoint a Public Prosecutor and may also  appoint  one  or
more Additional Public Prosecutors for the district. There are two modes  of
appointment of the Public Prosecutors, one, preparation of a panel of  names
of  persons,  who  in  the  opinion  of  the  District   Magistrate    after
consultation with the Sessions Judge, are  fit to  be  appointed  as  Public
Prosecutors or Additional Public Prosecutors for the district.   The  other,
 appointment of Public Prosecutor or an Additional  Public  Prosecutor  from
amongst the persons in a State where exists  regular  cadre  of  prosecuting
officers. A person is  eligible to be appointed as  Public  Prosecutor  only
if he has been in practise as an advocate for not  less  than  seven  years.
Special Public Prosecutor may also be appointed by the Central or the  State
Government for the purpose of any case or class of cases but he has to be  a
person who has been in practise as an advocate for not less than  10  years.

66.         Public Prosecutor has a very  important  role  to  play  in  the
administration of justice and, particularly,  in  criminal  justice  system.
Way back on April 15, 1935 in Harry Berger v. United States  of  America[23]
, Mr. Justice Sutherland, who delivered the opinion of the Supreme Court  of
United States, said  about  the  United  States  Attorney  that  he  is  the
representative not  of  an  ordinary  party  to  a  controversy,  but  of  a
sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling  as  its
obligation to govern at all, and whose interest, therefore,  in  a  criminal
prosecution is not that it shall win a  case,  but  that  justice  shall  be
done. The twofold aim of United States Attorney  is  that  guilt  shall  not
escape or innocence suffer.   It  is  as  much  his  duty  to  refrain  from
improper methods calculated to produce wrongful conviction as it is  to  use
every legitimate means to bring about a just one.
67.         The Eighth United Nations Congress on the  Prevention  of  Crime
and  the  Treatment  of  Offenders,  adopted  guidelines  on  the  role   of
Prosecutors in 1990. Inter-alia, it states that  Prosecutors  shall  perform
their duties fairly, consistently and expeditiously and respect and  protect
human dignity and uphold human rights.  He shall take proper account of  the
position of the suspect and the victim and pay attention  to  all   relevant
circumstances,  irrespective  of  whether  they  are  to  the  advantage  or
disadvantage of the suspect.
68.         As a follow up action to the above guidelines  on  the  role  of
Prosecutors, the International Association of Prosecutors adopted  Standards
of Professional Responsibility and Statement of  the  Essential  Duties  and
Rights of Prosecutors which, inter-alia,  provides  that  Prosecutors  shall
strive to be, and to be seen to be, consistent, independent  and  impartial;
Prosecutors shall preserve the requirements of a fair  trial  and  safeguard
the rights of the accused in co-operation with the Court.
69.          European  Guidelines  on  Ethics   and   Conduct   for   Public
Prosecutors  [The  Budapest  Guidelines]  adopted  in  the   Conference   of
Prosecutors General of Europe on 31st May, 2005 are on  the  same  lines  as
above. Under the head “professional conduct in  the  framework  of  criminal
proceedings”.  These guidelines state that when acting within the  framework
of criminal proceedings, Public Prosecutor should at  all  times  carry  out
their functions fairly, impartially, objectively and, within  the  framework
of the provisions laid down by law, independently; seek to ensure  that  the
criminal  justice  system  operates  as  expeditiously  as  possible,  being
consistent with the interests of  justice;  respect  the  principle  of  the
presumption of innocence and have regard to all relevant circumstances of  a
case including those affecting the suspect irrespective of whether they  are
to the latter’s advantage or disadvantage.
70.         In India, role of Public Prosecutor is no different.  He has  at
all times to ensure that an accused is tried  fairly.   He  should  consider
the views, legitimate  interests  and  possible  concern  of  witnesses  and
victims.  He is supposed to refuse to use evidence  reasonably  believed  to
have been obtained through recourse to unlawful methods.   His  acts  should
always  serve  and  protect  the  public  interest.   The  State   being   a
Prosecutor, the Public Prosecutor carries a primary position.  He is  not  a
mouthpiece of the investigating agency.  In Chapter II of the BCI Rules,  it
is stated that an advocate appearing  for  the  prosecution  of  a  criminal
trial shall so conduct the prosecution that it does not lead  to  conviction
of the innocent;  he  should  scrupulously  avoid  suppression  of  material
capable of establishing the innocence of the accused.
71.         A two Judge Bench of this Court in Mukul Dalal2,  while  dealing
with a question about the justifiability of the appointment by the State  of
Special Public Prosecutors and Assistant Public Prosecutors  under  Sections
24 and 25 Cr.P.C.  respectively, observed  that  in  criminal  jurisprudence
the State was a prosecutor and that is why primary position is  assigned  to
the Public Prosecutor.
72.         In Sidhartha  Vashisht  alias  Manu  Sharma  v.  State  (NCT  of
Delhi)[24], the Court considered role of  Public  Prosecutor  vis-à-vis  his
duty of disclosure. The Court noted  earlier  decisions  of  this  Court  in
Shiv Kumar v. Hukam Chand and Another[25] and  Hitendra  Vishnu  Thakur  and
Others v. State of Maharashtra and others[26]  and  in  paragraphs  185  and
186       (Pgs. 73-74) of the Report stated as under :

      “185. A Public Prosecutor is appointed under Section 24 of the Code of
      Criminal Procedure. Thus, Public Prosecutor is a statutory  office  of
      high regard. This Court has observed the role of a Prosecutor in  Shiv
      Kumar v. Hukam Chand [(1999) 7 SCC 467] as follows: (SCC p. 472,  para

        “13. From the scheme of  the  Code  the  legislative  intention  is
        manifestly clear that prosecution in a  Sessions  Court  cannot  be
        conducted  by  anyone  other  than  the  Public   Prosecutor.   The
        legislature reminds the State that the policy must strictly conform
        to fairness in the trial of an  accused  in  a  Sessions  Court.  A
        Public Prosecutor is not expected to show a  thirst  to  reach  the
        case in  the  conviction  of  the  accused  somehow  or  the  other
        irrespective of the true facts involved in the case.  The  expected
        attitude of the Public Prosecutor while conducting prosecution must
        be  couched  in  fairness  not  only  to  the  court  and  to   the
        investigating agencies but to the accused as well. If an accused is
        entitled  to  any  legitimate  benefit  during  trial  the   Public
        Prosecutor should not scuttle/conceal it. On the  contrary,  it  is
        the duty of the Public Prosecutor to winch it to the force and make
        it available to the accused. Even if the defence counsel overlooked
        it, the Public Prosecutor has the added responsibility to bring  it
        to the notice of the court if it comes to his knowledge. A  private
        counsel, if allowed a free hand to conduct prosecution would  focus
        on bringing the case to conviction even if it is not a fit case  to
        be so convicted. That is the reason why Parliament applied a bridle
        on him and subjected his role strictly to the instructions given by
        the Public Prosecutor.

      186. This Court has also held that the Prosecutor does  not  represent
      the investigating agencies, but the  State.  This  Court  in  Hitendra
      Vishnu Thakur v. State of Maharashtra [(1994) 4 SCC  602]  held:  (SCC
      pp. 630-31, para 23)

        “23. … A Public Prosecutor is an important  officer  of  the  State
        Government and  is  appointed  by  the  State  under  the  Criminal
        Procedure Code. He is not a part of the investigating agency. He is
        an  independent  statutory  authority.  The  public  prosecutor  is
        expected to independently apply his mind  to  the  request  of  the
        investigating agency before submitting a report to  the  court  for
        extension of time with a view to enable the investigating agency to
        complete the investigation. He is not merely a  post  office  or  a
        forwarding agency. A Public Prosecutor may or may  not  agree  with
        the  reasons  given  by  the  investigating  officer  for   seeking
        extension of time and may  find  that  the  investigation  had  not
        progressed in the proper manner or that there has been unnecessary,
        deliberate or avoidable delay in completing the investigation.”

Then in paragraph 187 (Pg. 74) the Court stated as follows :
      “187. Therefore, a Public Prosecutor has wider set of duties  than  to
      merely ensure that the accused is punished,  the  duties  of  ensuring
      fair play in the proceedings, all relevant facts  are  brought  before
      the court in order for the determination of truth and justice for  all
      the parties including the victims. It must be noted that these  duties
      do not allow the Prosecutor to be lax in any of his duties as  against
      the accused.”

73.         In a recent decision in Centre for  Public  Interest  Litigation
and others v. Union of India and others[27], the question before this  Court
was in respect of the appointment of a Special Public Prosecutor to  conduct
the prosecution on behalf of CBI and ED in 2G Spectrum case.  While  dealing
with the above question, the Court considered Section 2(u)  and  Section  24
Cr.P.C. and Section 46 of the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act,  2002  and
few earlier decisions of this Court in  Manu Sharma24, Sheonandan Paswan  v.
State of Bihar and Others[28] and  Johri Mal15  and it was observed that  in
an appointment of Public Prosecutor, the principle  of  master-servant  does
not apply; such an appointment is not an appointment to a civil post.

74.          The  mode  of  appointment  of  Public  Prosecutor   (including
Additional Public Prosecutor and Special Public  Prosecutor)  under  Section
24 Cr.P.C. and the mode of appointment of Assistant Public Prosecutor  under
Section 25 Cr.P.C. significantly differ. There is qualitative difference  in
the role and position of Public Prosecutor and Assistant Public  Prosecutor.
As a matter of law, Assistant Public  Prosecutor  is  not  included  in  the
definition of ‘Public Prosecutor’ under Section 2(u) Cr.P.C.  In  Samarendra
Das22, this Court held that the post of Assistant Public  Prosecutor  was  a
civil post. This position was accepted by a three-Judge Bench of this  Court
in Johri Mal15. It was stated in Johri Mal15,  “….a  distinction  is  to  be
borne in mind between appointment  of  a  Public  Prosecutor  or  Additional
Public Prosecutor on the one hand and Assistant  Public  Prosecutor  on  the
other. So far as  Assistant  Public  Prosecutors  are  concerned,  they  are
employees of the State……” As regards ‘Public  Prosecutor’,  this  Court  has
consistently held that though Public  Prosecutor  is  a  holder  of  ‘public
office’ and he holds a ‘post’ yet he is not in  government  service  as  the
term is usually understood. Despite these differences, for the  purposes  of
Article 233(2) there is not much difference in a Public  Prosecutor  and  an
Assistant Public Prosecutor and both of them are covered by  the  expression
‘advocate’. It is so for more than one reason. In the first place, a  Public
Prosecutor under Section 24 is appointed by  the  State  Government  or  the
Central Government for conduct of prosecution, appeal  or  other  proceeding
on its behalf in the High Court or  for  a  district  and  Assistant  Public
Prosecutor is appointed under Section 25 by  the  State  Government  or  the
Central Government to conduct prosecution on its behalf  in  the  courts  of
Magistrates.  So the main function of  the  Public  Prosecutor  as  well  as
Assistant Public Prosecutor  is  to  act  and/or  plead  on  behalf  of  the
Government in a  court;  both  of  them  conduct  cases  on  behalf  of  the
government.   Secondly and     remarkably,   for the  purposes  of  counting
experience as an advocate as prescribed in  sub-sections  24(7)  and  24(8),
the period,  during  which  a  person  has  rendered  service  as  a  Public
Prosecutor or as  Assistant  Public  Prosecutor,  is  treated  as  being  in
practice as an advocate under Section 24(9)  Cr.P.C.  In  other  words,  the
rendering  of  service  as  a  Public  Prosecutor  or  as  Assistant  Public
Prosecutor is deemed to be practice as an advocate.

75.         The three appellants namely, Deepak  Aggarwal,  Chandra  Shekhar
and Desh Raj Chalia, at the  time  of  their  application,  were  admittedly
working as Assistant  District  Attorney.  They  were  appointed  under  the
Haryana State Prosecution Legal Service (Group C) Rules,  1979  (for  short,
‘1979 Rules’). The relevant Rules read as under :

           “2. Definitions.—In these rules, unless  the  context  otherwise
           2(a) xxx    xxx  xxx
           2(b)   “direct recruitment” means an appointment made  otherwise
           than by promotion or by transfer of an official already  in  the
           service of the Government of India or any State Government;
           xxx   xxx   xxx
           6.   Appointing  Authority.—Appointment  to  the  posts  in  the
           service shall be made by the Director.
           xxx   xxx   xxx
           9.    Method of  Recruitment.-(1)  Recruitment  to  the  Service
           shall be made:-
                 (i)   by direct recruitment; or
                 (ii)  by promotion; or
           xxx   xxx   xxx
           11.   Seniority of Members of the service.-The  seniority  inter
           se of members of the Service shall be determined by  the  length
           of their continuous service on any post in the Service.
                 Provided that in the case of members appointed  by  direct
           recruitment, the order of merit determined by the Commission  or
           any other recruiting authority shall not be disturbed in  fixing
           the seniority:
                 Provided further that in the case of two or  more  members
           appointed on the same date, their seniority shall be  determined
           as follows:
                 (a)   a member appointed by direct  recruitment  shall  be
           senior to a member appointed by promotion or by transfer;
           xxx   xxx   xxx
           12.   Liability to serve.-(1) A member of the Service  shall  be
           liable to serve at any place whether within or outside the State
           of Haryana,  on  being  ordered  so  to  do  by  the  appointing
                 (2)   A member of the Service may also be deputed to serve
                       (i)  a  company,  an  association  or   a   body   of
                 individuals whether incorporated or not, which is wholly or
                 substantially owned or  controlled  by  the  Government,  a
                 Municipal Committee or a local authority, within the  State
                 of Haryana;
                       (ii)   the  Central  Government  or  a   company   an
                 association or a body of individuals  whether  incorporated
                 or  not,  which  is  wholly  or  substantially   owned   or
                 controlled by the Central Government; or
                       (iii)  any other State Government,  an  international
                 organisation, an autonomous  body  not  controlled  by  the
                 Government or a private body;
                 Provided that no member of the service shall be deputed  to
                 the  Central  or  any  other  State   Government   or   any
                 organisation or body referred to in clause (ii) and  clause
                 (iii) except with his consent.
                 13.   Leave, pension or other matters.-xxx   xxx
                 (2) No member of  the  Service  shall  have  the  right  of
                 private practice.
                 14.  Discipline,  penalties  and  appeals.—(1)  in  matters
                 relating to discipline, penalties and appeals,  members  of
                 the Service shall be governed by the Punjab Civil  Services
                 (Punishment and Appeal) Rules, 1952, as amended  from  time
                 to time:
                       Provided that the nature of penalties  which  may  be
                 imposed, the authority empowered to impose  such  penalties
                 and appellate authority shall, subject to the provisions of
                 any law or rules made under Article 309 of the Constitution
                 of India, be such as are specified in Appendix C  to  these
                 (2)  The authority competent to pass an order under  clause
                 (c) or clause (d) of sub-rule (1) of rule 10 of the  Punjab
                 Civil Services (Punishment  and  Appeal)  Rules,  1952,  as
                 amended from  time  to  time,  shall  be  as  specified  in
                 Appendix ‘D’ to these rules.”

75.1.        Appendix  ‘B’  appended  to  the  1979   Rules   provided   for
qualification  and experience for Assistant District Attorney. It  reads  as
follows :

                                “APPENDIX B”
                               (See Rule 7)

                        Qualifications and Experience
Designation of post ………………………………………………………………………………
                         For   Promotion/transfer              For    direct

Assistant District Attorney  (i)   Degree of Bachelor of Law of  (i)  Degree
of Bachelor of Law
                              a   recognised   university;   and         of
recognised university;

                                                 (ii)who has  practiced  at
                                             the bar
                        ii) who has worked -         for a period  of  not
                            less than
                        (a)  for a period  of  not  less  than          two
                              five years, as Assistant in any
                              post in the equivalent or higher
                              scale in any Government office;

                        (b)  for a period of not less than three
                              years on an assignment
                              (not less than that of an Assistant;
                               involving  legal work to any
                              Government office.”
76.         Of the other appellants, Rajesh Malhotra at the time  of  making
application was Public Prosecutor in the office of CBI.  His  services  were
governed by the General Rules  and  CBI  (Legal  Advisers  and  Prosecutors)
Recruitment Rules, 2002.   It is not necessary to refer to  these  Rules  in
detail.  Suffice it to say that a Public Prosecutor in CBI is  appointed  by
Union Public Service Commission by direct recruitment or by  promotion  from
in-service Assistant Public Prosecutors or  by  deputation  from  in-service
government  servants.  Service  conditions  which  are  applicable  to   any
government servant or a member of  civil  service  are  applicable  to  such
Public Prosecutor. Insofar as Dinesh Kumar Mittal is  concerned,  admittedly
he was working as Deputy Advocate General in the  State  of  Punjab  at  the
time of his application.   In the impugned judgment, he has been held to  be
full-time employee of the Punjab Government.
77.         We do not think there is any doubt  about  the  meaning  of  the
expression “advocate or pleader” in  Article  233(2)  of  the  Constitution.
This should bear the meaning it had in law preceding  the  Constitution  and
as the expression was generally  understood.  The  expression  “advocate  or
pleader” refers to legal practitioner and, thus, it means a person  who  has
a right to act and/or plead in court on behalf of his client.  There  is  no
indication in the context to the contrary.  It   refers   to   the   members
of  the  Bar  practising  law.   In other words,  the expression   “advocate
or pleader”  in  Article  233(2)  has  been  used  for  a  member   of   the
Bar  who conducts cases  in  court or, in other words acts and/or pleads  in
court on behalf of  his client.   In  Sushma  Suri6, a three-Judge Bench  of
this Court construed the expression  “members of the Bar” to mean  class  of
persons who were actually  practising  in  courts  of  law  as  pleaders  or
advocates.  A Public Prosecutor or a Government Counsel on the rolls of  the
State Bar Council and entitled to practice under the 1961 Act  was  held  to
be  covered  by  the  expression  ‘advocate’  under  Article  233(2).     We
respectfully agree.
78.         In U.P. State Law  Officers  Association13,  this  Court  stated
that though the lawyers of the Government or a public body on the  full-time
rolls of the government and the public bodies are  described  as  their  law
officers, but nevertheless they are professional practitioners.  It  is  for
this reason, the Court said that the Bar Council  of India in Rule    49  of
the BCI
Rules (in its original form) in the saving  clause  waived  the  prohibition
imposed by the said rule against the acceptance by a lawyer of  a  full-time
employment.    In Sushma Suri6, a three-Judge  Bench  of  this  Court  while
considering the meaning of the expression “advocate” in  Article  233(2)  of
the Constitution and unamended Rule   49 of the BCI Rules held      that  if
person was on the rolls  of  any  Bar  Council  and  is  engaged  either  by
employment or otherwise by the Union or State and practises before  a  court
as an advocate for and on behalf of such Government, such  person  does  not
cease to be an advocate. This Court went on to say that a Public  Prosecutor
or a Government Counsel on the rolls of  the  Bar  Council  is  entitled  to
practice.   It was laid down that  test  was  not  whether  such  person  is
engaged on terms of salary or by payment of remuneration but whether  he  is
engaged to act or plead on its behalf in a court of law as an advocate.  The
terms of engagement do not matter at all and what  matters  is  as  to  what
such law officer engaged by the Government does – whether he acts or  pleads
in court on behalf of his employer or otherwise. If  he  is  not  acting  or
pleading on behalf of his employer then he ceases to be an advocate; if  the
terms of engagement are such that he does not have to act or plead but  does
other kinds of work then he becomes a mere employee  of  the  Government  or
the body corporate. The functions which the law officer  discharges  on  his
engagement by the Government were held decisive.  We are in  full  agreement
with the above view in Sushma Suri6.
79.         While referring to unamended  Rule  49,  this  Court  in  Sushma
Suri6  said  that  Bar  Council  of  India  had  understood  the  expression
“advocate” as one who is actually practising before courts which  expression
would include even those who are law  officers  employed   as  such  by  the
Government or a body corporate.
80.         Have the two subsequent decisions in Satish  Kumar  Sharma7  and
Mallaraddi H. Itagi18 differed from Sushma Suri6? Is there any  conflict  or
inconsistency in the three decisions?  Satish Kumar Sharma7  and  Mallaraddi
H. Itagi18 are the two decisions on  which  very  heavy  reliance  has  been
placed on behalf  of  the  successful  writ-petitioners  (respondents).   In
Satish Kumar Sharma7, which has been elaborately noted in the  earlier  part
of the judgment, this Court found from the appointment/promotion  orders  in
respect of the appellant therein that he was required to work in  the  legal
cell of the Secretariat of the Board.  Central to the  entire  reasoning  in
Satish Kumar Sharma7 is that being a full-time salaried employee he  had/has
to attend many duties and his work was not mainly and exclusively to act  or
plead in court.  Mere occasional appearances on behalf of the Board in  some
courts were not held to be sufficient to bring him  within  the  meaning  of
expression ‘Law Officer’.  In the backdrop of nature of the office that  the
appellant therein held and the duties he was required to perform and in  the
absence of any rules  framed  by  the  State  Bar  Council  with  regard  to
enrolment of a full time salaried Law  Officer,  he  was  held  to  be   not
entitled for enrolment and the exception set out in paragraphs 2  and  3  of
unamended Rule 49 of the BCI Rules was not found to be attracted. In  Satish
Kumar Sharma7,  this Court did apply the   test   that  was   enunciated  in
Sushma Suri6 viz., whether a person is engaged to  act  and/or  plead  in  a
court of law to find out whether he is an advocate. In Satish Kumar  Sharma7
when this Court observed with reference to Chapter II of the BCI Rules  that
an advocate has a duty to the  court,  duty  to  the  client,  duty  to  the
opponent and duty to the colleagues unlike a  full  time  salaried  employee
whose duties are specific and confined to his employment, the Court  had  in
mind such full-time employment which was inconsistent with practice in  law.
 In para 23 of the judgment in Satish Kumar Sharma7, pertinently this  Court
observed that the employment of appellant therein as a head  of  legal  cell
in the Secretariat  of  the  Board  was  different  from  the  work  of  the
Prosecutors and Government Pleaders in relation to acting  and  pleading  in
Court.  On principle of law, thus, it cannot  be  said  that  there  is  any
departure in Satish Kumar Sharma7 from Sushma Suri6.

81.         In Mallaraddi H. Itagi18, the appellants were actually found  to
be government servants when they made applications for the post of  District
Judges. The High Court in its judgment in Mallaraddi H. Itagi17 had  noticed
that the appellants  had  surrendered  their  certificate  of  practice  and
suspended  their  practice  on  their  appointment   as   Assistant   Public
Prosecutors/Senior Assistant Public Prosecutors/Public Prosecutors in  terms
of Karnakata  Recruitment Rules. It was on this basis  that  Karnataka  High
Court held that  Sushma  Suri6  was  not  applicable  to  the  case  of  the
appellants. There is consonancy and congruity with  the  decisions  of  this
Court in Sushma Suri6, Satish Kumar Sharma7 and Mallaraddi H.  Itagi18  and,
in our opinion, there is no conflict or inconsistency on  the  principle  of

82.         In none of the other decisions  viz.,  Mundrika  Prasad  Sinha1,
Mukul Dalal2 and  Kumari Shrilekha Vidyarthi3,  it  has  been  held  that  a
Government Pleader or a Public Prosecutor or a District Government  Counsel,
on his  appointment   as  a  full-time  salaried  employee  subject  to  the
disciplinary control of the Government, ceases to be a  legal  practitioner.
In Kumari Shrilekha Vidyarthi3 while dealing with  the  office  of  District
Government Counsel/ Additional District  Government  Counsel,  it  was  held
that the Government Counsel in the district were law officers of  the  State
which were holders of an ‘office’ or ‘post’ but  it  was  clarified  that  a
District Government Counsel was not  to  be  equated  with  post  under  the
government in strict  sense.   In   Ramesh  Chandra  Sharma21,   this  Court
reiterated that the appointment of any  legal  practitioner  as  a  District
Government Counsel is only a professional engagement.

83.         However, much emphasis was placed  on behalf of  the  contesting
respondents on Rule 49 of the BCI  Rules which  provides  that  an  advocate
shall not be a full time salaried employee of any person, government,  firm,
corporation or concern so long as he continues to practice,  and  shall,  on
taking up any such employment, intimate the  fact  to  the  Bar  Council  on
whose roll his name appears, and shall thereupon cease  to  practice  as  an
advocate so long as he continues in such employment. It was  submitted  that
earlier in Rule 49 an exception was carved out that a ‘Law Officer’  of  the
Central Government or of a State or of a body corporate who is  entitled  to
be enrolled under the rules of State Bar Council shall not  be  affected  by
the main provision of Rule  49  despite  his  being  a  full  time  salaried
employee but by Resolution  dated  22.6.2001  which  was  published  in  the
Gazette on 13.10.2001, the  Bar  Council  of  India  has  deleted  the  said
provision and hence on and from that date a full time salaried employee,  be
he Public Prosecutor or Government Pleader, cannot be an advocate under  the
1961 Act.

84.         Admittedly, by the  above  resolution  of  the  Bar  Council  of
India, the second and third para of Rule 49 have been deleted  but  we  have
to see the effect of such deletion. What Rule 49 of the BCI  Rules  provides
is that an advocate shall not be  a  full  time  salaried  employee  of  any
person, government, firm, corporation or concern so long as he continues  to
practice. The  ‘employment’  spoken  of  in  Rule  49  does  not  cover  the
employment  of  an  advocate  who  has  been  solely  or,   in   any   case,
predominantly employed to act and/or  plead  on  behalf  of  his  client  in
courts of law.  If a person has been engaged to act and/or  plead  in  court
of law as an advocate although by way of employment on terms of  salary  and
other service conditions, such employment is not what is covered by Rule  49
as he continues to practice law but, on the other hand, if  he  is  employed
not mainly to act and/or plead in a court of law, but to do other  kinds  of
legal work, the prohibition in Rule 49 immediately comes into play and  then
he becomes a mere employee and ceases to be an advocate. The  bar  contained
in Rule 49 applies to an employment for work other than conduct of cases  in
courts as an advocate. In this view of the matter, the  deletion  of  second
and third para by the Resolution dated 22.6.2001 has not materially  altered
the position insofar as advocates  who  have  been  employed  by  the  State
Government or the Central Government to conduct civil and criminal cases  on
their behalf in the courts are concerned.

85.         What we have said above gets fortified by Rule  43  of  the  BCI
Rules. Rule 43 provides that an advocate, who has taken a full-time  service
or part-time service  inconsistent  with  his  practising  as  an  advocate,
shall send a declaration to that effect to the respective State Bar  Council
within time specified therein and any default  in  that  regard  may  entail
suspension of the right to practice. In other words,  if  full-time  service
or part-time service taken by an advocate is consistent with his  practising
as an advocate, no such declaration is necessary. The factum  of  employment
is not material but the key aspect is whether such employment is  consistent
with his practising as an advocate or, in other words, whether  pursuant  to
such employment, he continues to act and/or plead in  the  courts.   If  the
answer is yes, then despite employment he continues to be an advocate.    On
the other hand, if the answer is in negative, he ceases to be an advocate.
86.         An advocate has a two-fold duty: (1) to protect the interest  of
his client and pursue the case briefed to him with the best of his  ability,
and (2) as an officer of the Court.  Whether  full-time  employment  creates
any conflict of duty or interest for a  Public  Prosecutor/Assistant  Public
Prosecutor?  We do not think so.   As  noticed  above,  and  that  has  been
consistently stated by this Court, a  Public  Prosecutor  is  not  a  mouth-
of  the  investigating  agency.   In  our  opinion,   even   though   Public
Prosecutor/Assistant Public Prosecutor  is  in  full-time  employ  with  the
government and is subject to disciplinary   control  of  the  employer,  but
 he appears in the court for conduct of a case or prosecution, he is  guided
by the norms consistent with the  interest  of  justice.   His  acts  always
remain to serve and protect the public interest.  He has  to  discharge  his
functions fairly, objectively   and  within   the  framework  of  the  legal
provisions. It may, therefore,  not be correct  to  say  that  an  Assistant
Public Prosecutor is not an officer of the court.  The  view  in  Samarendra
Das22 to the extent it holds that an Assistant Public Prosecutor is  not  an
officer of the Court is not a correct view.

87.         The Division Bench has  in  respect  of  all  the  five  private
appellants – Assistant  District  Attorney,  Public  Prosecutor  and  Deputy
Advocate General – recorded  undisputed  factual  position  that  they  were
appearing on behalf of their respective States primarily  in  criminal/civil
cases and their appointments were basically under  the  C.P.C.   or  Cr.P.C.
That means their job has been to  conduct  cases  on  behalf  of  the  State
Government/C.B.I. in courts.  Each one of  them  continued  to  be  enrolled
with the respective State Bar Council. In  view  of  this  factual  position
and the legal position that we have discussed above, can  it  be  said  that
these  appellants  were  ineligible  for  appointment  to  the   office   of
Additional District and Sessions Judge?  Our  answer  is  in  the  negative.
The Division Bench committed two fundamental  errors,  first,  the  Division
Bench erred in  holding  that  since  these  appellants  were  in  full-time
employment of the State Government/Central Government,  they  ceased  to  be
‘advocate’   under the 1961 Act and the BCI Rules, and second, that being  a
member of service, the first essential requirement under Article  233(2)  of
the Constitution that such person should not be in  any  service  under  the
Union or the State was attracted.  In our view, none  of  the  five  private
appellants, on  their  appointment  as  Assistant  District  Attorney/Public
Prosecutor/Deputy Advocate General,  ceased to be ‘advocate’ and since  each
one of them  continued to be ‘advocate’, they cannot be considered to be  in
the service of the Union or the State within the meaning of Article  233(2).
The  view  of  the  Division  Bench  is  clearly  erroneous  and  cannot  be

88.         As regards construction of the expression, “if he has  been  for
not  less  than  seven  years  an  advocate”  in  Article  233(2)   of   the
Constitution, we think Mr. Prashant Bhushan  was  right  in  his  submission
that this expression means seven years as an advocate immediately  preceding
the application and not seven years any time in the past. 
This is  clear  by
use of ‘has been’. The present  perfect  continuous  tense  is  used  for  a
position which began at some time in  the  past  and  is  still  continuing.
Therefore, one of  the  essential  requirements  articulated  by  the  above
expression in Article 233(2) is that such person must with requisite  period
be continuing as an advocate on the date of application.

89.         Rule 11 of  the  HSJS  Rules  provides  for  qualifications  for
direct recruits in Haryana Superior Judicial Service.  Clause  (b)  of  this
rule provides that  the  applicant  must  have  been  duly  enrolled  as  an
advocate and has practised for a period not less than seven years.
 Since  we
have already held that these five private appellants did  not  cease  to  be
advocate   while   working    as    Assistant    District    Attorney/Public
Prosecutor/Deputy Advocate General, the period during which they  have  been
working as such has to be considered as  the  period  practising  law.  
thus, all of them have been advocates for not  less  than  seven  years  and
were enrolled as advocates and were continuing as  advocates on the date  of
the application.

90.          We,  accordingly,  hold  that  the  five   private   appellants
(Respondent Nos. 9,12,13,15 and 18 in CWP  No.  9157/2008  before  the  High
Court) fulfilled the eligibility under Article 233(2)  of  the  Constitution
and Rule 11(b) of the HSJS Rules on the date of  application.  The  impugned
judgment as regards them is liable to be set aside and is set aside.

       91. Appeals are allowed as above with no order as to costs.


                                                   (Anil R. Dave)

                                                       (Ranjan Gogoi)

JANUARY 21, 2013.
[1]     AIR 1979 SC 1871
[2]     (1988) 3 SCC 144
[3]     (1991) 1 SCC 212
[4]     AIR 1966 SC 1987
[5]     (1985) 1 SCC 225
[6]     (1999) 1 SCC 330
[7]     (2001) 2 SCC 365
[8]     (2003) 6 SCC 171
[9]     AIR 1961 SC 816
[10]    (2008) Labour & Industrial Cases 1784
[11]   (1986) Labour & Industrial Cases 710
[12]    AIR (1995) Allahabad 148
[13]    (1994) 2 SCC 204
[14]    1995 Supp (3) SCC 37
[15]   (2004) 4 SCC 714
[16]    (2009) 8 SCC 273
[17]    2002 (4) Karnataka Law Journal 76
[18]   Civil Appeal Nos. 947-956 of 2003, Mallaraddi H. Itagi and Ors. v.
High Court of Karnataka and Ors.
[19]   2008 (2) MPLJ 486
[20]   2010-4-L.W.454
[21]   (1995) 6 SCC 527
[22]   (2004) 2 SCC 274
[23]    295 U.S. 78
[24]    (2010) 6 SCC 1
[25]    (1999) 7 SCC 467
[26]    (1994) 4 SCC 602
[27]    (2012) 3 SCC 117
[28]   (1987) 1 SCC 288


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