Is it possible to continue criminal proceedings if a departmental investigation exonerates you of the same charges? In the Supreme Court, a Pleading

The Supreme Court has granted notice on a special leave petition in which the petitioner argues that criminal proceedings cannot continue despite exoneration in a departmental investigation into the same claims.

The special leave petition is filed in response to a Madhya Pradesh High Court decision holding that exoneration in a departmental probe does not enable an employee to seek a stay of criminal proceedings.

A High Court bench led by Justice Virender Singh relied to the Supreme Court’s decision in State (NCT of Delhi) versus Ajay Kumar Tyagi (2012) 9 SCC 685 to dismiss the employees’ petition.

Senior Advocate Siddarth Dave, representing the petitioner, relied on the Supreme Court’s decision in Ashoo Surendranath Tewari Vs. Deputy Superintendent of Police, EOW,CB to argue that criminal prosecution against the petitioner cannot proceed after he was exonerated in a departmental investigation for the same allegations.

A three-judge bench led by Justice RF Nariman stated in the abovementioned judgement that if a person is exonerated in departmental procedures on the merits and the allegation is determined to be unfounded, criminal prosecution on the same set of facts and circumstances cannot be allowed to continue. In the special leave petition, a bench comprised of Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai issued notice and halted the implementation of the challenged judgement, citing the precedence.

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