Q. Describe the organization of police, prosecutor, defense counsel
and prison authorities and their functions, duties, and powers.

The ordinary criminal courts derive their existence from CrPC.
However, CrPC does not say anything about the constitution of Police.
It assumes the existence of police and devolves various powers and
responsibilities on to it.

Functions -
As per The Police Act, 1861, the police force is an instrument for the
prevention and detection of crime.

Organization -
Every state establishes its own police force which is formally
enrolled. The force consists of such number of officers and men and is
constituted in such manner as the state govt. may decide from time to
time. The overall administration of police in the entire state is done
by Director General of Police. The administration of police in a
district is done by District Superintendent of Police under the
general control and direction of District Magistrate who is usually
the Collector of the district. Every police officer appointed to the
police force, other than Inspector General of Police and District
Superintendent of Police, receives a certificate in prescribed form by
virtue of which he is vested with the powers, functions and privileges
of a police officer.

The Police Act, 1888 also empowers the Central Govt to create special
police districts and to extend the jurisdiction of police of any state
to that district. The Police Act 1949, creates a police force for
Union Territories.

Powers -
1. The Cr P C confers specific powers on the members of police force
who are enrolled as police officers. These powers include power to
make an arrest, search, and investigate. Wider powers have been given
to police officers in charge of a police station. As per Section 2(s),
police station means any post or place that is generally or specially
designated by the state govt as a police station.  Further, as per
Section 2(o) officer in charge of a police station includes the
officer who is present at the police station and is next in rank to
the police officer in charge, if he is on leave or is absent. This
only increases the importance of the police officer in charge of a
police station.
2. Section 36 of CrPC specifies that officers of police who are
superior in rank to police officer in charge of a police station can
exercise all the powers of that police officer. In the case of State
of Bihar vs J A C Saldanha SCC 1980, SC held that if the Inspector
General (Vigilance) is an officer superior to the officer in charge of
the police station he can exercise the powers of that officer through
out the territory to which the superior officer has been appointed,
which, in this case is the entire territory of Bihar.

Duties -

A crime is a wrong not only against an individual but is also against
the society. It is because of this reason that the state, which
represents the collective of people, participates in the criminal
trial of an accused, specially if the crime is of cognizable nature.
Public Prosecutor or Assistant Public Prosecutor is the state counsel
for such trials. As per section 2(u), Public Prosecutor means any
person appointed under Section 24 and includes any person acting under
the directions of the public prosecutor. Section 24 of CrPC specifies
the rules for appointment of Public Prosecutor. A person shall be
eligible to be appointed in High Court as Public Prosecutor if he has
been in practice as an advocate for not less than seven years. The
appointment can be made only after consultation with the High Court.
Further, the central govt. can appoint a Public Prosecutor for
conducting in a high court any prosecution, appeal, or other
proceeding on behalf of the Central Govt.

Assistant Public Prosecutor are appointed under Section 25. It
authorizes the State Govt. to appoint one or more APPs for every
district for conducting any case in Court of Magistrates. No police
officer is allowed to be appointed as APP.

Duties -
Duty of a public prosecutor mainly consists in conducting the
prosecution on behalf of the state. His goal is not merely to produce
a conviction but the help the court arrive at a just decision. He also
appears as the state counsel in criminal appeals, revisions, and such
other matters in the Session Courts and High Court. It is important to
note that he does not appear on behalf of the accused.

Powers -
1. As per Section 301, a Public Prosecutor or Assistant Public
Prosecutor has the authority to appear and plead before any court in
any case entrusted to him.
2. As per Section 321, he can withdraw from the prosecution against
any person with the consent of the court.
According to the pattern set by CrPC, Public Prosecutors conduct the
proceedings in Session Courts and the High Courts and Assistant Public
Prosecutors are appointed for conducting prosecution in Magistrates'
Courts. As per prevailing practice, in respect of cases initiated on
police reports, the prosecution is conducted by the APP and in cases
initiated on a private complaint the prosecution is either conducted
by the complainant himself or by his duly authorized counsel.

Defense Counsel
As per Section 303, any person accused of an offence before a Criminal
Court has a right to be defended by a pleader of his choice. Such
pleaders are not in regular employment of the state and a paid
remuneration by the accused person. Since, a qualified legal
practitioner on behalf of the accused is essential for ensuring a fair
trial, Section 304 provides that if the accused does not have means to
hire a pleader, the court shall assign a pleader for him at state's

At present there are several schemes through which an indigent accused
can get free legal aid such as Legal Aid Scheme of State, Bar
Association, Legal Aid and Service Board, and Supreme Court Senior
Advocates Fee Legal Aid Society. The Legal Services Authorities Act,
1987 also provides free legal aid for the needy.

Prison Authorities
CrPC presumes the existence of Prisons and Prison authorities. The
code empowers magistrates and judges under certain circumstances to
order detention of under trial prisoners in jail during the pendency
of proceedings. The code also empowers the courts to impose sentences
of imprisonment on convicted persons and to send them to prison
authorities. However, the code does not make specific provisions for
creation and administration of prison authorities. These matters are
dealt with in separate acts such as The Prisons Act 1894, The
Prisoners Act, 1900, and the Probation of Offenders Act 1958.