Stay of disciplinary proceedings advisable in case criminal charge is grave : Supreme Court

By | November 2, 2015

Supreme Court of India

M/s Stanzen Toyotetsu India P. Ltd. v. Girish V & Ors.

 [Civil Appeal Nos. 763-768 of 2014],

21st January, 2014

Question arose for consideration as to whether disciplinary proceedings initiated by appellant-company against its employees (respondents) ought to remain stayed pending conclusion of the criminal case instituted against the respondents in respect of the very same incident. ?

It was held that “while there is no legal bar to the holding of the disciplinary proceedings and the criminal trial simultaneously, stay of disciplinary proceedings may be an advisable course in cases where the criminal charge against the employee is grave and continuance of the disciplinary proceedings is likely to prejudice their defense before the criminal Court. Gravity of the charge is, however, not by itself enough to determine the question unless the charge involves complicated question of law and fact. The Court examining the question must also keep in mind that criminal trials get prolonged indefinitely especially where the number of accused arraigned for trial is large as is the case at hand and so are the number of witnesses cited by the prosecution. The Court, therefore, has to draw a balance between the need for a fair trial to the accused on the one hand and the competing demand for an expeditious conclusion of the on-going disciplinary proceedings on the other.”


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