SC to examine if HC can stay proceedings in graft cases

SC to examine if HC can stay proceedings in graft cases

SC to examine if HC can stay proceedings in graft cases
The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider an “absolute” question of law if a stay could be granted by the high courts on the court proceedings in cases initiated under the Prevention of Corruption Act despite a statutory bar.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice J Chelameswar fixed August 5 as the date of hearing on a batch of petitions, including one relating to senior Congress leader and Karnataka Energy Minister D K Shivakumar.

“There would no further adjournment on August 5 as it is absolute question of law only,” the bench, also comprising Justices Shiva Kirti Singh and Abhay Manohar Sapre, told the counsel, representing the parties. The court further said that there was no requirement for completing the procedure for filing pleadings (written responses), indicating that the hearing could begin straightaway.

Additional Solicitor General P Narasimha submitted that the issue for consideration is if the high court can entertain petitions under Article 226 (writ jurisidiction) of the Constitution and under Section 482 (inherent power) of the Criminal Procedure Code and stay the proceedings in the corruption cases.

He pointed out that Section 19(3)(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act barred any court from exercising the powers of revision in relation to any interlocutory order passed in any inquiry, trial, appeal or other proceedings. “The question that arises for adjudication is if framing of charges is an interlocutory order or not, and if it is open to revision by the HC,” the law officer submitted.
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