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All stay orders on civil/criminal proceedings passed by courts, including HCs, to automatically expire within 6 months unless extended for good reasons
Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency Pvt Ltd and Anr vs Central Bureau of Investigation
MA No. NO. 1577 OF 2020
About/from the judgment:
"The High Courts, though not subordinate administratively, are certainly subordinate judicially."
The Supreme Court has reiterated that whatever stay has been granted by any court including the High Court on civil or criminal proceedings will automatically expire within a period of six months, unless an extension is granted for good reason within the next six months.
The Court said that the High Courts are subordinate judicially to the Supreme Court and the directions issued in Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency Private Limited. vs. Central Bureau of Investigation ought to be followed.
"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.", the bench said.
"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:", the SC order stated.
In this case, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Pune had refused to proceed with the matter observing that it cannot pass any order which has been stayed by the Bombay High Court. It stated that the Complainant should move an application before the High Court to resume the trial. Aggrieved with this, the complainant filed an application in the case titled Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. vs. Central Bureau of Investigation.
The bench, while directing the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Pune to set down the case for hearing immediately, further clarified
"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"
Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency Private Limited Judgment
In this case, the judgment of the Court contained the following important observations:
In all pending cases where stay against proceedings of a civil or criminal trial is operating, the same will come to an end on expiry of six months from today unless in an exceptional case by a speaking order such stay is extended. 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.
if the interim order granted by the Supreme Court is not vacated and continues beyond a period of 6 months by reason of pendency of the appeal, it cannot be said that the interim order would automatically stand vacated, a bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph, had observed in an order passed in August last year.
Read the Judgment
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