1. By our judgment dated 15.9.1952 we dismissed the two applications under Article 228 of the Constitution, challenging the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, 1946. As a necessary consequence of the dismissal of those applications, we observed that the prosecutions must proceed. At the instance of the petitioners, we certified that the cases involved substantial questions of, law regarding the interpretation of the Constitution of India and were fit for appeal to the Supreme Court.
2. The application in this case and Miscellaneous Criminal Case No. 89 of 1952 have been made for the stay of the criminal proceeding now pending in the Court of the trying Magistrate at Hoshangabad. The question is whether we have the power to order the stay of proceedings in the Court below. This order will govern both the Miscellaneous Criminal Cases Nos. 88 and 89 of 1952.
3. It should be noted that no appeal has yet been filed in the Supreme Court, and that this Court has become 'functus officio' after our judgment referred to above. It has therefore been argued by the learned Additional Government Pleader that there are no proceedings pending in this Court, that there is no appeal pending in the Supreme Court, & that therefore this Court has no power to grant the applications for stay of further proceedings in the criminal Court. It has also been contended by him that the obvious remedy available to the petitioners is to file their appeals in the Supreme Court as early as practicable and to obtain an order of stay from that Court.
4. The learned Counsel for the petitioners has invited our attention to the decision of their Lordships of the Judicial Committee in - Lala Jairam Das v. Emperor . In that case their Lordships dealt with the power of the High Court to grant bail to a person convicted and sentenced by the High Court, and to whom special leave to appeal had been granted by the Privy Council. That case in terms does not deal with the point for decision before us. But it was sought to be argued on behalf of the petitioners that their Lordships came to the conclusion that the High Court had no such power because the Code of Criminal Procedure has exhaustively dealt with the power to grant bail and no power outside those provisions could be found for the exercise of the power. It was further argued that as the Criminal Procedure Code did not specifically deal with the question of stay of further proceedings, there was inherent jurisdiction in the High Court, which was conserved by section 561-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, to grant the stay applied for in these cases. In our opinion, that case is of no assistance to the petitioners in the instant cases.
5. Reliance was next placed on the decision of a Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court in - Ram Saroop v. Emperor : AIR1927All97 . That decision is in the teeth of, the decision of their Lordships of the Judicial Committee just noticed. But it is argued that the actual decision may have been overruled by their Lordships of the Judicial Committee, but the observation in that case that the High Court had inherent jurisdiction to stay the execution of its own order in the interests of justice had not been so overruled. But in the cases before us, there is no question of the stay of the execution of any orders passed by this Court. This Court had only removed the impediment created by the applicants themselves to the trial of the cases against them, by holding that the applications under Article 228 of the Constitution were of no avail to the petitioners.
6 On the other hand, reliance was placed upon a Division Bench ruling of this Court in - Bashiruddin Ahmed v. Emperor (C), in which it has been observed that in the absence of an express statutory authority there can be no jurisdiction in the Court to pass any orders whatsoever when it had ceased to have seisin of the case. It was also observed in that case that inherent powers, if any, should not be invoked in cases where the petitioner had another clear remedy available to him.
7. It is common ground that there are no statutory provisions either in the Code of Criminal Procedure or in the Supreme Court Rules covering the cases before us. We must therefore hold that we have no power to grant the stay prayed for. The applications, therefore, are refused.