“An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Under Article 136, the Constitution of India gives power to the Supreme Court to grant special permission or leave to an aggrieved party to appeal against an order passed in any of the lower courts or tribunals in India.
MEANING OF SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION
Special leave petition (SLP) means that an individual takes special permission to be heard in appeal against any high court/tribunal verdict. Thus it is not an appeal but a petition filed for an appeal. So after an SLP is filed, the Supreme Court may hear the matter and if it deems fit, it may grant the ‘leave’ and convert that petition into an ‘appeal’. SLP shall then become an Appeal and the Court will hear the matter and pass a judgment.
SLP CAN BE PRESENTED UNDER FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCE
- It can be filed against any judgment or decree or order of any high court /tribunal in the territory of India, or
- It can be filed in case a high court refuses to grant the certificate of fitness for appeal to Supreme Court of India.
TIME LIMIT TO FILE SLP
- It can be filed against any judgment of a high court within 90 days from the date of judgment, or
- It can be filed within 60 days against the order of a high court refusing to grant the certificate of fitness for appeal to Supreme Court.
WHO CAN FILE SLP
Any aggrieved party can file an SLP against the judgment or order of refusal of grant of certificate.
Through SLP, an aggrieved party can appeal to the Supreme Court against any judgement passed by any lower court or tribunal. This leave is granted when the case involves a question of law. Mere errors of fact, mis-appreciation of evidence or even findings of fact arrived at wrongly are not grounds of appeal before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is only concerned with question of law i.e. if the law was correctly applied, whether the interpretation of law was in accordance with the settled principles of law etc.
The aggrieved party or the petitioner filing SLP has to give a brief synopsis of the facts and issues presented in the case along with a list of dates specifying the chronology of events pertinent to the judgement. Along with this, the petitioner has to formulate questions of law to appeal against the judgement. These questions should pertain to laws relevant to the general public as well.
Once registered and presented in the Supreme Court, the petitioner will get a hearing before the Court. Subsequently, depending on the merits of the case, the Supreme Court will issue a notice to the opposite parties who will then file a counter affidavit stating their views. It’s at this point that the Supreme Court will decide whether to grant leave to the petitioner or not. If the Court grants leave, the case is then converted into a civil appeal and will be argued afresh in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court can rescind or revoke the earlier judgement, modify it or allow it. The Court can also send the case back to the relevant lower court for fresh adjudication in light of principles laid down by it or on account of any issues missed out by the lower court.
Article 133–136 of the Constitution of India defines the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Article 133 provides for civil appeals from orders of the High Court, Article 134 provides for criminal appeals and Article 136 provides for special leave petition. If a case does not fall within Article 133 or Article 134 then under Article 136 the Supreme Court may be moved and a special permission may sought to grant leave to appeal.
Appeal to Supreme Court is not a matter of right but it is matter of privilege which only the Supreme Court will grant to any individual if there exists an important constitutional or legal issue involved. Appeals are regulated by the Constitution of India and Supreme Court Rules, 2013.
According to Article 141 of the Indian Constitution, the Supreme Court’s judgement is declared as law of the land and is binding on all courts in India.
The Indian Lawyer