26 May 2020


Judgments

High Court of Punjab and Haryana

Bibi Jagir Kaur v. Central Bureau of Investigation

MANU/PH/0004/2017

16.01.2017

Criminal

Mere filing of appeal by convicted person should not be a ground to suspend conviction

Present application has been filed by Applicant-appellant under Section 389 read with Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C.) seeking suspension of conviction qua her during pendency of main appeal. Applicant has been held guilty for offence under Section 120-B read with Sections 313, 365 and 344 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) vide judgment rendered by Sessions Court. Now the prayer is for stay of order of conviction as she intends to contest coming elections in the State of Punjab.

In K.C. Sareen vs. C.B.I., Chandigarh, the Apex Court opined that exercise of power to suspend order of conviction should be limited to very exceptional cases. Further, merely filing of an appeal by the convicted person should not be a ground to suspend the conviction. The court is duty bound to take into consideration all aspects and ramifications of keeping such conviction in abeyance. There is no straight-jacket formula on the basis of which it can be held that stay of suspension of conviction is to be made. While doing so, totality of facts has to be taken into consideration and thereafter the issue is to be adjudicated. Each case has to be decided on its on facts. Section 312 of IPC provides punishment for voluntarily causing miscarriage to a woman who may extend to three years rigorous imprisonment or fine or both. Section 313 of IPC provides punishment for causing miscarriage to women without her consent which may extend to imprisonment for life or sentence of ten years and fine. Offence under section 313 of IPC is very serious offence.

A person holding public office like the applicant is entrusted with powers to be exercised in public interest and the office is held by said person in trust for the people. Involvement in such a serious offence of a person holding public office amounts to breach of trust. Selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership are the settled principles of public life. Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example. It is well settled that holders of public offices are entrusted with certain powers to be exercised in public interest alone and therefore, the office is held by them in trust for people. Any deviation from the path of rectitude by any of them amounts to a breach of trust and must be severely dealt with instead of being pushed under the carpet. The principles of public life are of general application in every democracy and one is expected to bear them in mind while scrutinizing the conduct of every holder of a public office.

No irreparable loss and injury would be caused to the applicant-appellant. Rather, if a public figure becomes entitled to hold public office and to continue to do official acts until he or she is judicially absolved from findings against him/her by reason of suspension of conviction, it would adversely affect public interest and even irreparably. Consequently, it is not considered to be a fit case for suspending the conviction of the applicant-appellant. High Court concluded that, there is no merit in the application filed under Section 389(1) of the Cr.P.C. for suspension of conviction and accordingly, the same is declined.

Relevant

K.C. Sareen vs. C.B.I., Chandigarh MANU/SC/0409/2001

Tags : Conviction Suspension Entitlement

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