SC: Conviction be stayed only if attention drawn to ensuing consequences

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 25th February 2020, in the matter of Life Insurance Corporation of India v.Mukesh Poonamchand Shah observed that the power to suspend conviction is an exceptional power which can be exercised only when the attention of the court is drawn to the consequences which may ensue if the conviction is not stayed.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

While the court hearing a criminal appeal does have the power to suspend the conviction in appropriate cases, this is an exceptional power which can be exercised only when the attention of the court is drawn to the consequences which may ensue if the conviction is not stayed. (Para 11)

Regulation 39(1) of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (Staff) Regulations 1960 deals with the penalties which can be imposed upon an employee who is found guilty of misconduct. Regulation 39(2) mandates compliance with the principles of natural justice in terms of providing a reasonable opportunity to the employee to defend the charges. Regulation 39(4) operates with a non-obstante clause. In terms of Regulation 39(4)(i), “where a penalty is imposed on an employee on the grounds of conduct which had led to a conviction on a criminal charge”, the appellant is independently entitled to take steps against the employee. (Para 13)

While the Life Insurance Corporation of India while acting within jurisdiction, issues a notice to show cause under Regulation 39(4) of Life Insurance Corporation of India (Staff) Regulations 1960, passing a judgement restraining the Life Insurance Corporation of India from taking a final decision on the show cause notice pending the disposal of the criminal appeal has no valid basis in law. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 16)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_25-Feb-2020

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *