Public Prosecutor Performance Evaluation System.

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Context:

Madhya Pradesh government has been able to incentivize prosecutors through the Public Prosecutor Performance Evaluation System.

Relevance:

GS -2 Important aspects of governance, transparency, and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

BACKGROUND

  • In Madhya Pradesh, Public Prosecutor Performance Evaluation System has been designed in the form of an app — “e-Prosecution MP” — designed and developed by the Directorate of Public Prosecution, so as to allow each Public Prosecutor to enter the record of their activities in court. This helps in analyzing the daily activity and monthly performance of each and every public prosecutor to evaluate best prosecutors at state and district levels using a well-defined formula. 
  • The details filled in by the prosecutors are reviewed by their reporting officers. Productivity and performance score for each prosecutor is generated using a matrix and rules.
  • For eg. When a prosecutor ensures death sentence he gets 1,000 points, the highest an activity can get; life imprisonment earns 500 points and a three-year conviction gets 300 points.
  • Earlier, there was no evaluation. Those who were lazy, wanting to work for fixed hours and wait for their salaries remained so. But now that the performance is being evaluated everybody is motivated to be efficient and earn points
  • Those who do well are felicitated and those who falter are warned. And those who try to game the system by manipulating their numbers are given stiffer punishments.
  • It is linked to the ACRs (annual confidential reports) of the prosecutors. Probationers are not confirmed until they get certain points. The system has ensured just and fair evaluation because there is no scope for partiality
  • The prosecutors are now trained by judicial officers who tell them what judges expect during the trial. Even defense lawyers are called during training sessions to train the prosecutors. Underperformers are given separate training. Experts train them to improve verbal and non-verbal communication like voice modulation and expressions

NEED OF SUCH AN INNOVATION

  • This Public Prosecutor Performance Evaluation System is an effort in the direction of making Public Prosecutors efficient.
  • India has embarrassingly low conviction rates — somewhere around 40 percent as against the high 90s in countries like China, Japan and Canada.
  • This conviction rate falls further depending on the state one is in and the concerned crime. For instance, cases of sexual violence see even lower conviction rates.
  • Consequently, The all-round weakness of the prosecutors to get the wronged party timely justice undermines the citizen’s faith in the government and the overall system.
  • The initiative has led to a better conviction rate. In 2018, there were 21 death sentences, the highest in the country in a year. The state also witnessed the quickest death trial and the quickest life term trial that lasted for three days. 



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