The Supreme Court of India has clarified that an appellate court has power to stay conviction under Code of Criminal Procedure and upon such stay, disqualification of a member of Parliament or State legislature under Representation of the People Act as a consequence of such conviction will not operate.
“…………….it has been well-settled that the appellate court has the power, in an appropriate case, to stay the conviction under Section 389 [CrPC] besides suspending the sentence. The power to stay a conviction is by way of an exception. Before it is exercised, the appellate court must be made aware of the consequence which will ensue if the conviction were not to be stayed. Once the conviction has been stayed by the appellate court, the disqualification under sub-sections 1, 2 and 3 of Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act 1951 will not operate”, a Large Bench of the Court ruled.
The Court further said that the authority vested in the appellate court to stay a conviction ensures that a conviction on untenable or frivolous grounds does not operate to cause serious prejudice.