Stay on Disciplinary Proceedings | Legal Grounds | Supreme Court

Stay on Disciplinary Proceedings

Stay on Disciplinary Proceedings

The concept of a stay in disciplinary proceedings refers to a temporary halt or suspension of the process.

It can be initiated for various reasons, often related to legal or procedural considerations.

Stay provides a vital pause in disciplinary proceedings, ensuring fairness and justice.

Grounds for Stay by Disciplinary Authority 

Violation of Principles of Natural Justice: Alleged bias, unfair treatment, or denial of a fair hearing.

Non-Compliance with Rules: Procedural irregularities or failure to adhere to established protocols.

Case Law : Sheetal Banga vs. DLF Home Developers Ltd. (2016) emphasizes the importance of fair inquiries.

Request to Disciplinary Authority for Stay 

The concerned employee or their legal representative may file a formal request for a stay.

The request typically outlines specific grounds and reasons for seeking the stay.

Employees or representatives can formally file a stay request to address specific concerns promptly.

Role of the Disciplinary Authority

The disciplinary authority must carefully review the stay request.

If the authority finds merit, it may temporarily suspend the proceedings to address concerns.

Case Law: Pankaj Arora vs. Union of India (2004) mandates the disciplinary authority to provide reasons for decisions.

Temporary Stay vs. Permanent Stay

A temporary stay is a pause in proceedings until specific concerns are addressed.

Temporary stay acts as a vital pause, allowing time for addressing concerns adequately.

A permanent stay implies a complete cessation, usually due to irreparable damage or legal violations.

Case Law: Maneka Gandhi vs. Union of India (1978) underscores the importance of a reasonable opportunity to be heard.

Petition for Judicial Intervention

In certain cases, employees may approach the judiciary seeking a stay order.

Courts may grant stays if there is a likelihood of injustice or violation of fundamental rights.

Employees can seek a stay through judicial intervention for a more impartial assessment.

Case Law: Bachhittar Singh vs. State of Punjab (1980) highlights the court’s power to intervene when necessary.

Legal Grounds for Judicial Stay

(a)  Violation of Constitutional Rights: Alleged infringement on fundamental rights.

(b)  Lack of Evidence: If the evidence presented is insufficient or questionable.

(c) The charges in both the criminal proceedings and disciplinary proceedings are common.

(d) Evidence in both the proceedings are common.

(e) There exist complicated question of law.

(f)  Delay in Criminal Trial, etc. 

Case Law: P. Gopalkrishnan vs. State Bank of Travancore (1990) granted a stay due to an inadequate inquiry process.

Union of India vs. Tulsiram Patel (1985) emphasizes the need for a fair and thorough inquiry.

Impact on the Employee

A stay provides relief to the employee, offering time to prepare a defense.

It prevents potential harm to the employee’s reputation and career during ongoing proceedings in order to safeguard his salary.

Case Law: Mohinder Singh Gill vs. Chief Election Commissioner (1978) underscores the significance of a fair hearing.

Impact on the Organization

Delays in resolution may impact the organization’s efficiency and workplace dynamics.

Legal costs may increase due to prolonged proceedings and potential court involvement.

Case Law: R.S. Gupta vs. Union of India (2013) acknowledges the delicate balance between employee rights and organizational interests.

Balancing Act

Striking a balance between employee rights and organizational interests is crucial.

Clear communication and adherence to due process are essential to navigate stay requests.

Case Law: State of Rajasthan vs. Bhanwar Lal (1999) emphasizes the need for a fair and just inquiry.


Decision-making on a stay requires careful consideration of legal, procedural, and fairness aspects.

Organizations must be prepared to address challenges, taking into account evolving case law to ensure a fair and transparent process.

Related Articles :

(a)  Oral Termination to Private School Teacher is Invalid 

(b)  Writ Petition Maintainable against Private School

(d)  Termination of Temporary Employee

(e)   Service Matter Judgments


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