The full form of APP is Assistant Public Prosecutor. An Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP) is a legal professional who works in the criminal justice system. The role of an Assistant Public Prosecutor may vary based on the country’s legal system, but usually, their primary responsibility is to represent the government or the state in criminal cases.
For instance, in India, Assistant Public Prosecutors (AAPs) review the charge sheet prepared by law enforcement agencies and submit recommendations for acquittal or discharge. Additionally, they are tasked with assessing the evidence and filing revision petitions. Furthermore, they actively handle criminal proceedings in the Court of Metropolitan Magistrates.
Appointment of AAP in India?
As per Section 25 of the Code of Criminal Procedure:
(1) Each district’s State Government is responsible for appointing one or more Assistant Public Prosecutors to handle prosecutions in Magistrates’ Courts.
(1-A) The Central Government may appoint one or more Assistant Public Prosecutors for the purpose of conducting specific cases or classes of cases in Magistrates’ Courts.
(2) However, police officers are generally not eligible to be appointed as Assistant Public Prosecutors, except as provided in subsection (3).
(3) In cases where no Assistant Public Prosecutor is available for a particular case, the District Magistrate has the authority to appoint any other suitable person as the Assistant Public
Prosecutor for that case. However, a police officer cannot be appointed if:
(a) The police officer has been involved in the investigation of the offence for which the accused is being prosecuted, or
(b) The police officer holds a rank below that of an Inspector.
It should be noted that Section 24 of the Code specifies that the Assistant Public Prosecutor should also be a practising Advocate. However, Section 25 does not explicitly require this condition, allowing for exceptional circumstances where even a police officer could be appointed as an Assistant Public Prosecutor under Section 25 of the Code.
Also Read: How to Become a Public Prosecutor?
Career of APP
Assistant Public Prosecutors collaborate with the police and other law enforcement entities to assist in criminal investigations against individuals accused of crimes. Based on the evidence gathered by these agencies, the Assistant Public Prosecutors are involved in either framing charges against the accused or recommending acquittal.
They carefully review the charge sheets prepared by these agencies and provide guidance to ensure a strong case is presented, leading to appropriate sentences as per the law.
During criminal trials in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate, Assistant Public Prosecutors act as representatives of the Government, advocating and arguing the cases on behalf of the prosecution.