Jammu: Senior police officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre Syed Ahfadul Mujtaba has been appointed as the first Director General of a newly-created prosecution department in the Union Territory which will help in improving the criminal justice system.

Recruited as Deputy Superintendent in 1984 and conferred IPS in 1998, Mujtaba has over three-decade experience of serving sensitive postings, including Senior Superintendent of Police of Srinagar district for over three years and Deputy Inspector General of Central Kashmir Region (CKR) when militancy was at peak.

Mujtaba was heading the crime branch during the investigation of the gruesome rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua. The probe led to conviction of six people.

The prosecution department was notified on October 31 with an aim to ensure prosecutorial independence, as emphasised by the Supreme Court that calls for establishing of Directorate of Prosecution with a separate prosecution service, directly responsible and under the administrative control of the government.

It is also a crucial element of reforms of the criminal justice system, whose implementation is being closely monitored by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

The move aims to develop the prosecution cadre as an independent entity separate from police department under the provisions of the CrPC, which require that public prosecutors, additional public prosecutors and assistant public prosecutors be drawn from the regular prosecution cadre.

The establishment of an independent prosecution cadre in line with the provisions of CrPC will bring about synergy in the criminal justice system and is expected to improve conviction rate.

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