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SC to deliver judgment on February 29 on automatic vacation of stay

In the 2018 judgment, the court had held that the stay granted by a lower court or high court in civil and criminal cases will automatically expire after six months unless extended specifically.
Last Updated 28 February 2024, 16:06 IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court would on Thursday pronounce its decision on a plea for reconsideration of its 2018 judgment, which ordered for automatic vacation of stay in all civil and criminal matters after a period of six months.

In the 2018 judgment, the court had held that the stay granted by a lower court or high court in civil and criminal cases will automatically expire after six months unless extended specifically.

A Constitution bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices Abhay S Oka, J B Pardiwala, Pankaj Mithal and Manoj Misra had on December 13, 2023, reserved its judgment in the petitions filed by the High Court Bar Association Allahabad and others.

During the hearing, the bench had noted two problems arising from the automatic vacation of stay orders.

One, the automatic vacation of stay prejudices the litigant irrespective of the conduct of that litigant and there are circumstances over which a litigant has no control and second, the vacation of an order of stay is also a judicial act and it is not an administrative act.

Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi for the Association had submitted the mechanism could interfere with the constitutional structure, particularly Article 226 of the Constitution, and may be seen as judicial legislation.

On December 1, 2023 the Supreme Court had expressed reservations with its 2018 judgment on the 'Asian Resurfacing case'. The judgment had ordered that there would be automatic lifting of stay in all civil and criminal matters upon expiry of six-month time.

The bench, in its order, had then said, “The principle which has been laid down in the decision is liable to result in a serious miscarriage of justice”.

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(Published 28 February 2024, 16:06 IST)

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