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TARSEM SINGH & Ors v. STATE, CHANDIGARH ADMINISTRATION, CHANDI - CRLM-65142-2005 [2005] RD-P&H 164 (27 September 2005)

Crl.Misc.No.65142 of 2005 in 1

Crl.Revision No.2456 of 2002


DATE OF DECISION: January 6, 2006

Tarsem Singh and others



State, Chandigarh Administration, Chandigarh ... Respondent

CORAM:- Hon'ble Mr. Justice Uma Nath Singh.
Present: Mr.R.P.Rana, Advocate

for petitioner-Tarsem Singh.

Mr.Rajive Sharma, Advocate

for the U.T., Chandigarh.


Heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the records.

Learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the instant case does not involve an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act; the offences in question have not been committed in discharge of petitioner's official duties as a Police Sub Inspector; and the Delhi High Court suspended the conviction of a bank employee in similar Crl.Misc.No.65142 of 2005 in 2

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circumstances in a criminal revision. Learned counsel cited four judgments in support of his contentions as: (i) K.C.Sareen versus CBI, Chandigarh ((2001)6 SCC 584); (ii) Union of India versus Atar Singh and another ((2003) 12 SCC 434); (iii) State of Maharashtra versus Gajanan and another ((2003)12 SCC 432), and (iv) K.Bhagyanath versus State (2003(2) RSJ 16).

In para 13 of the judgment of K.C.Sareen's case, Hon'ble the Apex Court has laid down the law that when the conviction is recorded on a corruption charge against a public servant, the Appellate or the Revisional Court should not suspend the order of conviction during the pendency of the appeal even if the sentence is suspended.

In Atar Singh's case, Hon'ble the Apex Court has held that undoubtedly Section 389 Cr.P.C. confers a discretion on the appellate Court to decide the question of suspension of conviction in a given case but if in exercise of such discretion, conviction is suspended, it would always be open for the Hon'ble Court to examine the correctness of exercising of that discretion. The order of suspension of conviction in a corruption case was accordingly set aside on the ground that the order was passed mechanically.

In Gajanan's case also, the accused was convicted of an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act (for short `the Act') and that Crl.Misc.No.65142 of 2005 in 3

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apart, the High Court had failed to look at all the aspects including ramification of keeping such conviction in abeyance.

Thus the legal positions as on today in corruption cases are: (i) that under Section 389 Cr.P.C., the High Court has been conferred with discretion to suspend conviction in a given case; (ii) that such powers should be sparingly exercised and, that too, in a limited sphere of only exceptional cases, and (iii) that the discretion should not be exercised mechanically without looking at all the aspects including ramification of keeping such sentence in abeyance.

In the instant case, accused petitioner Tarsem Singh, a Police Sub Inspector, has been convicted under Sections 120-B IPC, 420 IPC, 468 IPC and 471 IPC and awarded a maximum sentence of 1 year R.I. One of the offences being under Section 420 IPC is compoundable in nature. The maximum sentence for such offences prescribed under the IPC is upto 7 years, thus, looking to the character, the antecedents and the background of the petitioner, he can be considered also for grant of benefits of probation under Section 360 Cr.P.C. and the Probation of Offenders Act, particularly for the reason that he earned further promotion after being charged with the offences. The petitioner has been convicted with the aid of Section 120-B Crl.Misc.No.65142 of 2005 in 4

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IPC for helping the main accused Rishi Pal in getting medical fitness for recruitment in the Police Department. On the relevant date, the petitioner being an ASI was not assigned any such duty, and he has not been found to be a beneficiary in any manner. In Bhagyanath's case (supra) also, the accused was convicted with the aid of Section 120-B IPC for offences under Sections 420 IPC, 468 IPC, 511 IPC and 380 IPC. The Delhi High Court under the circumstances that the accused was not convicted of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act distinguished the case and suspended the conviction. That apart, learned counsel appearing for the U.T.

of Chandigarh does not have a serious ground to repel the contentions of learned counsel for the petitioner.

Hence, the Crl.Misc.No.65142 of 2005 is hereby allowed and the conviction of petitioner No.1 Tarsem Singh is suspended.

January 6, 2006 ( UMA NATH SINGH )



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