• Special Leave Petition

  • Special Leave Petitions in India (SLP) holds a prime place in the Judiciary of India, and has been provided as a "residual power" in the hands of Supreme Court of India to be exercised only in cases when any substantial question of law is involved, or gross injustice has been done.

    The Constitution of India under Article 136 vests the Supreme Court of India with a special power to grant special leave, to appeal against any judgment or order or decree in any matter or cause, passed or made by any Court/tribunal in the territory of India.

    This is special power, bestowed upon the Supreme Court of India which is the Apex Court of the country, to grant leave to appeal against any judgment in case any substantial constitutional question of law is involved, or gross injustice has been done.

    "Special leave petition" or SLP hold a prime place in the Indian judicial system. It provides the aggrieved party a special permission to be heard in Apex court in appeal against any judgment or order of any Court/tribunal in the territory of India.

    Special Leave petition or SLP can be presented under following circumstance:

    1. SLP can be filed against any judgment or decree or order of any High Court /tribunal in the territory of India. Or;
    2. SLP can be filed in case the High court refuses to grant the certificate of fitness for appeal to Supreme Court of India.
    3. SLP can be filed against any judgment of High Court within 90 days from the date of judgement. Or;

    Contents of SLP:

    1. This petition is required to state all the facts that are necessary to enable the court to determine whether SLP ought to be granted or not. It is required to be signed by Advocate on record. The petition should also contain statement that the petitioner has not filed any other petition in the High court.
    2. It should be accompanied by a certified copy of judgement appealed against and an affidavit by the petitioner verifying the same and should also be accompanied by all the documents that formed part of pleading in Lower court.

    The scope of power vested with the Supreme Court of India under Article 136:

    1. The constitution of India vest "discretionary power" in the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court of India may in its discretion be able to grant special leave to appeal from any judgment or decree or order in any matter or cause made or passed by any Court/tribunal in the territory of India. The Supreme Court of India may also refuse to grant the leave to appeal by exercising its discretion.
    2. An aggrieved party from the judgment or decree of high court cannot claim special leave to appeal as a right but it is privilege which the Supreme Court of India is vested with and this leave to appeal can be granted by it only.
    3. An aggrieved party can approach the Apex Court under Article 136 in case any constitutional or legal issue exists and which can be clarified by the Supreme Court of India. This can be heard as Civil or Criminal appeal as the case may be.

    The jurisdiction conferred by article 136 is divisible into two stages : the first stage is up to the disposal of the prayer for special leave to appeal; the second stage commences if and when the leave to appeal is granted and the petition for special leave to appeal is converted into an appeal. While hearing the petition for special leave to appeal, the Supreme Court is called upon to see whether the petitioner should be granted such leave or not. While hearing such petition it does not exercise its appellate jurisdiction; it merely exercises its discretionary jurisdiction to grant or not to grant leave to appeal.

    If the petition seeking grant of special leave is dismissed, it is an expression of opinion by the Supreme Court that a case for invoking the appellate jurisdiction of the Court was not made out.

    Whatever be the phraseology employed in the order of dismissal, if it is a non-speaking order, ie., it does not assign reasons for dismissing the special leave petition, it would neither attract the doctrine of merger so as to stand substituted in the place of the order put in issue before it, nor be a declaration of law by the Supreme Court under article 141 of the Constitution for there is no law which has been declared.

    If the order refusing special leave to appeal is a speaking order, ie., it gives reasons for refusing the grant of leave, then the order has two implications. Firstly, the statement of law contained in the order is a declaration of law by the Supreme Court within the meaning of article 141 which will obviously be binding on all courts and tribunals in India and certainly the parties thereto.

    If leave to appeal is granted, the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court stands invoked; the gate for entry in the appellate arena is opened. The petitioner is in and the respondent may also be called upon to face him, though in an appropriate case, inspite of having granted leave to appeal, the court may dismiss the appeal without noticing the respondent.

    When an appeal is dismissed by the court, though by a non-speaking order, the Supreme Court upholds the decision of the high court or of the tribunal. To such a case the doctrine of merger applies.

    Judgments on SLP:

    There is catena of judgments mentioning about the scope of power of Supreme Court under Article 136, the maintainability of special leave petitions. The below mentioned are some of prominent judgments mentioning about SLP.

    1. N. Suriyakala Vs. A. Mohan doss and Others (2007) 9 SCC 196
    2. Tirupati Balaji Developers Pvt. Ltd. Vs. State of Bihar AIR 2004 SC 2351,  
    3. Jamshed Hormusji Wadia Vs. Board of Trustees, Port of Mumbai AIR 2004 SC 1815
    4. Mathai @ Joby v. George ( (2010) 4 SCC 358)
    5. Jacob Matthew vs State of Punjab (2005) 6 SCC 1

    It is discretionary power vested in the Supreme Court of India and the court may in its discretion refuse to grant leave to appeal. The aggrieved party cannot claim special leave to appeal under Article 136 as a right, but it is privilege vested in the Supreme Court of India to grant leave to appeal or not.

    Types Of Special Leave Petitions

    Special Leave Petitions can be divided into two following categories:

    To Know More About Special Leave Petition Go On Clicking On The Following Links

     

    The captioned subject is complex by its very nature. We, therefore, always encourage our visitors & Clients to seek an independent legal advice by our empanelled lawyers. In such Cases, our lawyers devise most appropriate legal recourse for our Clients after examining the related provisions of law, i.e. The Constitution Of India 1949, Other relevant Acts, Judgments and Citations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court Of India and the High Courts. Even otherwise, the question as to how to apply the laws, judgments and citations is rather more complex, as it involves a thorough examination of substantial laws, procedural laws and Court precedents in a given set of facts and circumstances.

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