Saturday, 17 October 2020

Whether lower court can refuse to proceed with the trial of case after expiry of six months if high court has not vacated the stay?

we are

constrained to point out that in our directions contained in the

judgment delivered in Criminal Appeal Nos. 1375-1376 of 2013 [Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. vs. Central Bureau of Investigation] and, in particular, para 35, it is stated thus:

“35. … …. In cases where stay is granted in future,

the same will end on expiry of six months from the

date of such order unless similar extension is

granted by a speaking order. The speaking order must

show that the case was of such exceptional nature

that continuing the stay was more important than

having the trial finalized. The trial Court where

order of stay of civil or criminal proceedings is

produced, may fix a date not beyond six months of

the order of stay so that on expiry of period of

stay, proceedings can commence unless order of

extension of stay is produced.”

Learned Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Pune, by his

order dated 04.12.2019, has instead of following our judgment in

letter as well as spirit, stated that the Complainant should move

an application before the High Court to resume the trial. The

Magistrate goes on to say: “The lower Court cannot pass any order

which has been stayed by the Hon’ble High Court, Bombay with due

respect of ratio of the judgment in Asian Resurfacing of Road

Agency Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. (supra).” We must remind the Magistrates

all over the country that in our pyramidical structure under the

Constitution of India, the Supreme Court is at the Apex, and the

High Courts, though not subordinate administratively, are certainly

subordinate judicially. This kind of orders fly in the face of

para 35 of our judgment. We expect that the Magistrates all over

the country will follow our order in letter and spirit. Whatever

stay has been granted by any court including the High Court

automatically expires within a period of six months, and unless

extension is granted for good reason, as per our judgment, within

the next six months, the trial Court is, on the expiry of the first

period of six months, to set a date for the trial and go ahead with

the same.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

MISCELLANEOUS APPLICATION NO. 1577 OF 2020

IN

CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 1375-1376 OF 2013


ASIAN RESURFACING OF ROAD AGENCY PVT. LTD. Vs 

CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION 

Dated: October 15, 2020.

Having heard Mr. Dilip Annasaheb Taur, learned counsel for the

applicant and Mr. S.V. Raju, learned ASG for the respondent, we are

constrained to point out that in our directions contained in the

judgment delivered in Criminal Appeal Nos. 1375-1376 of 2013 [Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. vs. Central Bureau of Investigation] and, in particular, para 35, it is stated thus:

“35. … …. In cases where stay is granted in future,

the same will end on expiry of six months from the

date of such order unless similar extension is

granted by a speaking order. The speaking order must

show that the case was of such exceptional nature

that continuing the stay was more important than

having the trial finalized. The trial Court where

order of stay of civil or criminal proceedings is

produced, may fix a date not beyond six months of

the order of stay so that on expiry of period of

stay, proceedings can commence unless order of

extension of stay is produced.”

Learned Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Pune, by his

order dated 04.12.2019, has instead of following our judgment in

letter as well as spirit, stated that the Complainant should move

an application before the High Court to resume the trial. The

Magistrate goes on to say: “The lower Court cannot pass any order

which has been stayed by the Hon’ble High Court, Bombay with due

respect of ratio of the judgment in Asian Resurfacing of Road

Agency Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. (supra).” We must remind the Magistrates

all over the country that in our pyramidical structure under the

Constitution of India, the Supreme Court is at the Apex, and the

High Courts, though not subordinate administratively, are certainly

subordinate judicially. This kind of orders fly in the face of

para 35 of our judgment. We expect that the Magistrates all over

the country will follow our order in letter and spirit. Whatever

stay has been granted by any court including the High Court

automatically expires within a period of six months, and unless

extension is granted for good reason, as per our judgment, within

the next six months, the trial Court is, on the expiry of the first

period of six months, to set a date for the trial and go ahead with

the same.

With this observation, the order dated 04.12.2019 is set aside

with a direction to the learned Additional Chief Judicial

Magistrate, Pune to set down the case for hearing immediately.

Miscellaneous Application is disposed of accordingly.

.......................... J.

(ROHINTON FALI NARIMAN)

.......................... J.

(NAVIN SINHA)

.......................... J.

(K.M. JOSEPH)

New Delhi;

October 15, 2020.


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