Power of Stay of Conviction should be exercised only in exceptional cases

Supreme Court: While deciding a case related to scope of stay of conviction under Section 389(1); CrPC, the Division Bench comprising M.Y. Eqbal and Kurian Joseph, JJ. observed that unless there are exceptional cases of irreparable injury coupled with irreversible consequences resulting in injustice, the appellate court shall not stay the conviction, though the sentence may be suspended. However, it was held that there is no hard and fast rule or guidelines as to what are those exceptional circumstances.

In the instant, where the appellant was convicted under Sections 147, 148, 302/144 and 120B, IPC, appeal arose from the order of the Allahabad High Court  which granted bail to the appellant but refused to stay the appellant’s conviction.. The appellant, represented by M/S Anuradha and Associates, contended that he will be deprived of his source of livelihood if the conviction is not stayed.

The Court, relying upon Navjot Singh Siddhu v. State of Punjab, (2007) 2 SCC 574, observed that the person seeking stay of conviction should specifically draw the attention of the appellate court to the consequences that may arise if the conviction is not stayed. If the convict is involved in crimes which are so outrageous and yet beyond suspension of sentence and if the conviction also is stayed then it would have serious impact on the public perception. Such orders definitely will shake the public confidence in judiciary. Therefore the Court rejecting the appellant’s contention held that the appellant has been convicted for serious offences like rioting and criminal conspiracy and the manner in which it was committed does not make it a rare and exceptional case for staying the conviction. Shyam Narain Pandey v. State of U.P., Criminal Appeal No. 1515 of 2014, decided on 22.07.2014

To read the full judgment, refer to SCCOnLine

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