The Supreme Court had made a new ruling that there will be no stay for the proceedings in trial court, both in criminal and civil cases after the expiry of six months from the date in which the stay is granted.
The bench of Justice Navin Sinha and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel stated that “We ... direct that in all pending cases where stay against proceedings of a civil or criminal trial is operating, the same will come to an end on the expiry of six months from today unless in an exceptional case by a speaking order, such stay is extended”.
The Court give the clarification that the pending matters related to the Prevention of Corruption Act in high courts and other courts in criminal or civil cases, the stay will drop automatically after the end of six months. The court also stated that “where to stay is granted in future, the same will end on the expiry of six months from the date of such order unless a similar extension is granted by a speaking order”.
According to the judgment, in the trial Court, the stay of the criminal and civil case in which the stay is produced can fix a date not beyond six months. The court also clarified that for the rarest of rare case, there only need to correct a patent error of jurisdiction and there is no need of re-appreciating the matter.
The Supreme Court had asked high courts and other courts for giving the necessary instructions and monitor all the criminal or civil proceedings to not remain pending at the trial stage.
After discussing the law on the point, the Bench concluded:
“(a) An order framing charge under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 is an interlocutory order. (b) As Section 19(3)(c) clearly bars revision against an interlocutory order and framing of charge being an interlocutory order a revision will not be maintainable. (c) A petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and a writ petition preferred under Article 227 of the Constitution of India are maintainable. (d) Even if a petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure or a writ petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India is entertained by the High Court under no circumstances an order of stay should be passed regard being had to the prohibition contained in Section 19(3)(c) of the 1988 Act.
(e) The exercise of power either under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure or under Article 227 of the Constitution of India should be sparingly and in exceptional circumstances be exercised keeping in view the law laid down in Siya Ram Singh [(1979) 3 SCC 118], Vishesh Kumar [AIR 1980 SC 892], Khalil Ahmed Bashir Ahmed [AIR 1988 SC 184, Kamal Nath and Ors. [AIR 2000 SC 1997 Ranjeet Singh [AIR 2004 SC 3892] and similar line of decisions in the field. (f) It is settled law that jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure or under Article 227 of the Constitution of India cannot be exercised as a 11 "cloak of an appeal in disguise" or to reappreciate evidence. The aforesaid proceedings should be used sparingly with great care, caution, circumspection and only to prevent grave miscarriage of justice.”
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