The Karnataka High Court on Friday directed the State government to clarify whether or not prosecution in twenty-one criminal cases of communal violence and violence in the course of cow protection, involving legislators, have been dropped between October and December 2020..In this regard, the order passed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice SS Magadum asked the State government to place on record details of those cases wherein applications were made by public prosecutor under Section 321 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for withdrawal from prosecution..This development came about after the petitioner, advocate Clifton D Rozario apprised the Bench that twenty-one cases involving communal violence and violence relating to cow protection were dropped during the last quarter of 2020.."Let them (State government) clarify whether such withdrawal has been made," the Court remarked. .Rozario has challenged a decision of the State cabinet to withdraw 61 criminal cases against elected Members of the State Legislature.."Twenty-one criminal cases have been withdrawn by the State Government against legislators. To avoid any controversy, apart from reporting compliance to order dated December 1, the State government will place on record the details of cases where applications under Section 321 of CrPC were made in relation to cases covered by order dated 31st August 2020," the Court ordered..On December 1, a Bench led by CJ Oka had remarked that a Public Prosecutor cannot act like a post box or submit to the diktats of the government when the executive directs withdrawal of criminal cases against legislators.."It is held that even if government instructs to the Public Prosecutor to withdraw from the prosecution of a case, the latter after applying his mind to the facts of the case may either agree with the instructions and file a petition before the court stating grounds of withdrawal or disagree therewith having found a good case for prosecution and refuse to file the withdrawal petition.....It is further observed that the Public Prosecutor cannot act like a post box or act on the dictates of the State Government and he has to act objectively as he is also an officer of the court," the December 1 order said. .In the light of that order, the Court on Friday also directed the State to provide the details of applications made by Public Prosecutors after December 1 to withdraw from prosecution. Further, the State was also asked to explain whether or not the public prosecutors who filed the applications for withdrawal of cases under Section 321 were provided with a copy of the order dated December 1, 2020..Last month, the Bench had stayed the State government decision of August 31, by which it had decided to drop criminal prosecution in 61 cases against elected representatives and ministers. This interim order will continue to operate till further orders, the Bench said on FridayThe case will be heard next on February 15.