The maxim autrefois convict and aturefois acquit emphasis and provided a protection against double punishment.
Double Prosecution is barred
S J Tubrazy
Stroud’s Judicial Dictionary explains the term “prosecution” as , the word “prosecute” is derived from a Latin word and signifies not’ only “to follow”, but “to follow intensively” without intermission thus to be follow or pursue with a view to reach, execute or accomplish.
According to the Webster’s New International Dictionary (Second Edition) “prosecution” means, inter alia, the process of exhibiting formal charges against an offender before a legal tribunal, and pursuing them to final judgment on behalf of the State or Government as by indictment or information.” And in the Oxford English Dictionary “prosecution” means “the following up, continuing, or carrying out of any action, scheme, or purpose, with a view to its accomplishment or attainment.”
According to Corpus Juris Secundum the term “prosecution” has different meanings when used in different relations and it is regarded as a word of limited or extended signification according to the intention of the law maker or the person using it. In its broadest sense the term would embrace all proceedings in the course of justice or even elsewhere for the protection or enforcement of a right or the punishment of a wrong, whether of a public or private character. In a more limited sense the term includes the act of conducting or waging a proceeding in Court; the following up or carrying on of an action or suit already commenced until the remedy be attained; the institution and carrying on of a suit in a Court of law or equity to obtain some right or to redress and punish some wrong. It includes commencing, conducting and carrying a suit to a conclusion in a Court of justice. It is in this limited sense that the word “prosecution” appears, to have been used in Article 13 of the Constitution of 1973(Islamic Republic of Pakistan). Significantly, the maxim autrefois convict and aturefois acquit emphasis and provided a protection against double punishment, which tends to show that it is only where the prosecution has finally concluded and ended either in acquittal or conviction that a fresh prosecution for the same offence would be barred.
(Writer is practicing lawyer of banking laws in Pakistan)