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aws账号(www.2km.me)_Can Najib Razak contest in the general election simply because his conviction has been stayed?

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On December 8, Najib Razak failed to appeal his conviction and sentencing involving the misappropriation of RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd.

According to a new report, the Court of Appeal then granted a stay of Najib’s conviction and sentence. This came as a surprise as, initially, I thought that a stay of execution on only his sentence was granted.

A “conviction” is a finding of guilt, while a “sentence” is the punishment imposed following a finding of guilt.

In criminal cases where the convicted person has an opportunity to further appeal the decision, the courts will commonly grant a stay of the sentence of imprisonment.

This is only logical, to ensure that the appeal would not be worthless. If there was no stay, the convicted person would have to serve time in prison pending the disposal of the appeal.

Should the appeals court subsequently exonerate the person, the loss and damage suffered during the imprisonment could never be reversed. 

However, it is quite rare to see our courts grant a stay of conviction, although it is not prohibited in law.

Stay of conviction

The court’s power to order a stay of execution is found in section 57 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 (CJA):

Appeal not to operate as stay of execution

57. (1) Except in the cases mentioned in subsection (3) and section 56A, no appeal shall operate as a stay of execution, but the High Court or the Court of Appeal may stay execution on any judgment, order, conviction or sentence pending appeal on such terms as to security for the payment of any money or the performance or non-performance of any act or the suffering of any punishment ordered by or in the judgment, order, conviction or sentence as to the Court may seem reasonable.

The court can stay either a conviction or a sentence, or both. What does it mean to stay a conviction?

In Ravikant S. Patil, the appellant, an elected member of the Karnataka legislative assembly, India, was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for seven years by the Sessions Court.

He appealed against his conviction and sentence. Pending the appeal, Bombay High Court granted a stay of the execution of the sentence.

The assembly was subsequently dissolved, and fresh elections were called. Right before the final day of nominations for electoral candidates, the High Court stayed the appellant’s conviction pending appeal.

The appellant then contested in the election and won. His election was challenged on the basis that the appellant was disqualified due to his conviction, and that his nomination should not have been accepted.

The Supreme Court of India held that the appellant was not disqualified in light of the conviction stay: 

Where the execution of the sentence is stayed, the conviction continues to operate. However, where the conviction itself is stayed, the effect is that the conviction will not be operative from the date of stay.

An order of stay, of course, does not render the conviction non-existent, but only non-operative. Be that as it may, insofar as the present case is concerned, an application was filed specifically seeking stay of the order of conviction specifying that consequences if conviction was not stayed, that is, the appellant would incur disqualification to contest the election.

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