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2G scam public prosecutor coached accused; A commonplace practice?

The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) has removed one of its public prosecutors on the 2G spectrum scam case, after taped phone conversations allegedly showed him giving advice to one of the accused in the matter.

According to the Times of India, senior public prosecutor AK Singh said to the managing director of Unitech, who is one of the main targets of the case, “I have been muddling up the matters only for you” while coaching him on his defence:

In a revealing bit, Singh asks the person purported to be Chandra what would be the value of a lawyer like him in the corporate sector. Chandra replies by mentioning a monthly salary of Rs 3 -4 lakh a month , excluding the daily appearance fee which according to him doubled in the wake of 2G scam.

Advocate Chitranshul wrote on his blog today that news of a public prosecutor (PP) colluding with accused would not be surprising to most lawyers:

Every trial lawyer has a story where a PP was mixed up with the accused and botched up the prosecution to help get an acquittal. However, the root of the problem lies in low fees paid by the State to PPs. They are burdened with a heavy workload for meagre fees and face constant pressure to force a conviction. A consequence of such duties is that they cannot take up cases independently and thus their livelihood depends on such trials…

Under such circumstances, it may be said that PPs may be easily influenced by the accused by enticing them with riches. Where a PP sees defense lawyers being paid small fortunes to defend the accused, duty to put forward a strong case for prosecution would be rarely backed by motivation. It reduces to be a duty and becomes a burden.

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