Prior to the formation of the Commission on 21st November, 2004, tasks relating to various kinds of enquiries and providing legal opinions in cases and answering the writ petitions under the Director (Law) were completed in the dissolved Bureau. It did not have any separate unit named the Prosecution Unit. Government nominated PP and APPs were engaged in conducting cases in the trial courts. Bureau officials of ASI status assisted the PPs and APPs in jobs like evidence and case docket presentations. In the event of stay of any case in the Honourable High Court and Supreme Court, they arranged for resolution of the rule from the Solicitor wing of the government and also tried to vacate the stay orders.
Section 33(1) of ACC Act, 2004 says “The Commission shall have its own prosecution unit consisting of the number of prosecutors required to conduct the cases to be investigated by the commission under this law and to be tried before the special judge.” Section 33(3) of the same Act says “Until the appointment of its own prosecutors under this law, lawyers temporarily appointed by the Commission shall conduct its cases”. The current activities are moving accordingly. We appoint learned lawyers in the High Court and lower courts for conducting cases in ACC considering capability, efficiency and honesty and according to the decision taken by the Commission independently, keeping free of any political influence. If any questions are however raised about anybody’s performance even after being appointed, the appointment is revoked in accordance to the decision of the Commission. Various courts are contacted by the Prosecution cell and Supreme Court Cell and monitoring of those cases which are under trial or withheld are done.
In spite of the existence of an independent Prosecution Unit of the Commission comprising of a Director General, 2 Directors, 4 Deputy Directors and other officials and staffs, it has not been possible to engage the Commission’s Prosecutor to conduct cases in the court according to law. A lawyers’ panel comprising of experienced legal professionals has been appointed on contract to conduct cases on behalf of the Commission. They are conducting cases accordingly. Similarly, this kind of a lawyers’ panel is conducting the activities of the Commission in the Honourable Supreme Court and High Courts. When the Legal and Prosecution Unit of the Commission started work, it was realised that numerous cases of the dissolved Anti-Corruption Bureau were awaiting disposal. Though the Legal and Prosecution Unit of the Commission started work with a huge case-load of unresolved cases, it is fast trying to dispose off the huge number of cases of the dissolved Bureau.
The total number of cases filed from the Commission in 2011 which are under trial is 1587. Among them the number of cases which were running in the courts was 1275 and the number of cases that had been stayed was 312. 69 cases have been disposed off; among them 14 cases have received conviction and the accused have been released. As a result of new cases being filed in the meantime, the total number of cases pending trial till 31st October, 2012 is 2121. Among them, 1704 cases were running and cases that have been stayed for various reasons were 408. A total of 86 cases have been disposed off. Among them 31 have received conviction and 55 have been released. The following chart gives a status of the cases of the Commission that are under trial in different courts from 2009-31st October, 2012.