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Filing SLP With Supreme Court. Special Leave Petition under Article 136 of the Constitution.

Special Leave Petition (SLP) is being filed with Supreme Court of India under Article 136 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has been given extra ordinary jurisdiction under Article 136. The court can grant Special Leave to Appeal from any Judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in any cause or matter, passed or made by any court or tribunal in the territory of India. SLP is permissible even in the interim orders. But as per Article 136(2), any judgment, determination, sentence or order passed or made by any court or tribunal constituted by or under any law relating to the Armed forces are restricted from filing Special Leave Petition.


SLP against decree in Second appeals

In Om Prakash v. Lauti Ram (1971) 3 SCC 868, the Supreme Court stated that under Article 136 the Supreme Court will entertain an appeal against a decree passed in second appeal if a substantial question of law of general or public importance arises which may not only determine the dispute between the parties, but will be a precedent for guidance for determination of similar disputes in other cases. The court may, if it appears that substantial injustice has resulted or that there had been not proper trial of the case or for other similar reasons, interfere with the order or the decree passed by the High Court in second appeal. The mere fact that some question of law arises out of the decision of the High Court will not enable a party to claim a right of appeal to the Supreme Court.


SLP in Criminal Matters

In Ramabhupala Reddy v. State of Andhara Pradesh (1971) 3 SCC 868, the Supreme Court has defined the scope of interference under Article 136 in criminal matters as  follows at page 478 of Supreme Court cases.

"Although the power of this court under that article are very wide, this Court, following the practice adopted by the Judicial Committee has prescribed limits on its own power and in criminal appeals, except under exceptional circumstances it does not interfere with the findings of findings of fact reached by the High Court unless it is of the opinion that the High Court had disregarded the forms of legal process or had violated the principles of natural justice or otherwise substantial and grave injustice has resulted. This court does not ordinarily reappraise the evidence if the High Court has approached the case before it in accordance with the guidelines laid down by this Court unless some basic error on the part of the High Court is brought to the notice of this court. It is best to bear in mind that except in certain special cases, the High Court is the final Court of appeal and this Court is only a Court of Special Jurisdiction."

In Another case Dalbir Kaur (Smt) v. State of Punjab (1976) 4 SCC 158 at page 165.

(1) The Court would not interfere with the concurrent finding of fact based on pure appreciation of evidence even if it were to take a different view on the evidence;

(2) The Court will not normally enter into a reappraisal or review of the evidence, unless the assessment of the High Court is vitiated by an error of law or procedure or is based on error of record, misleading of evidence or is inconsistent with the evidence for instance, where the occurrence of evidence is totally inconsistent with the medical evidence and so on;

(3) The Court would not enter into credibility of the evidence with a view to substitute its own opinion for that of the High Court.

(4) The Court would interfere where the High Court has arrived at a finding of fact in disregard of judicial process, principles of natural justice or fair hearing or has acted in violation of a mandatory provision of law or procedure resulting in serious prejudice or injustice to the accused;

(5) The court might also interfere where on the proved facts wrong interferences of law have been drawn or where the conclusions of the High Court are manifestly perverse and based on no evidence.

Conditions Required to be satisfied for invoking Jurisdiction of Supreme Court under Article 136

Unless the following conditions are satisfied, the Court will not interfere under Article 136 of the Constitution:

(1) The proposed appeal must be from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order, that is to say, it must not be against a purely executive or administrative order. If the determination or order giving rise to the appeal is a Judicial or quasi-judicial determination or order, the first conditions is satisfied. It may be in any cause or matter.


(2) That the said determination or order must have been made or passed by any Court or Tribunal in the Territory of India.

The Supreme Court in Engineering Mazdoor Sabha v. Hind Cycles Ltd., 1963 Supp (1) SCR 625 further held that unless both the conditions are satisfied, Article 136(1) cannot be invoked.


Grounds on Which the Supreme Court may interfere with the orders of the courts below


1. Absence of Speaking Order

In Woolcombers of India Ltd v. Works Union, (1974) 3 SCC 318, the Supreme Court observed that judicial and quasi-judicial authorities from whose decision an appeal lies to it by Special Leave under Article 136, should always give reasons in support of their conclusions.


2. Interference with finding of Fact

It has been practice of the Supreme Court not to embark upon an enquiry into facts and evidence of cases in a Special Leave Petition. Although normally the Supreme Court is reluctant to interfere with concurrent findings of fact, if essential ingredients necessary for the finding of fact have not been found by the court below, then the court is bound to examine the question whether injustice or wrong is done. The burden of showing that a concurrent finding of two or more courts or tribunals ins manifestly unjust lies on the Petitioner. But one that burden is discharged it is not only the right but the duty of the Supreme Court to remedy the injustice.


3. Interference with Exercise of Discretion of Courts below

(a) in the matter of sentence or fine

As a matter of practice, the Supreme Court does not grant Special Leave where the question is only one of excessive sentence or fine by the lower courts, but if the facts and circumstances of a case justify, it may interfere. Award of the costs and special costs are within the jurisdiction of the trial court and unless weighty reasons exist, the Supreme Court would not unsettle the costs awarded by the Trial Court or High Court.


4. Interference with Interlocutory orders under Article 136

Generally, the Supreme Court does not entertain Special Leave Petitions from interim orders passed by the Courts below. However, its powers are not circumscribed and the Court, in appropriate matters, can entertain a petition even from interim orders where justice so requires.


5. Interference under Article 136 where mixed questions of law and fact are involved

In appeals under Article 136, the Supreme Court generally entertained appeals. In Lloyds Bank Ltd v. Pannalal Gupta AIR 1967 SC 478, the Court held that the status of particular category of employees i.e. whether the employees are workmen or supervisors under the Industrial Disputes Act, is a mixed question of fact and law and it was open to the appellant to urge his contention against the correctness of the finding of the Tribunal on such mixed question of fact and law.


In case of Suppression of material facts and misleading the Court, Leave can be revoked

While granting Special Leave, the Court generally relies upon the statement made by the petitioner in the Special Leave Petition. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that the statement made in the Special Leave Petition should be true and correct and no attempt should be made to mislead the Court. No Material fact should be suppressed. Whenever it has been brought to the notice of the Court that some material fact have been suppressed or that the Court has been misled by the Petitioner, the Court has not hesitated to revoke the Special Leave granted even at the time of the hearing of such appeal.


The Petitioner must approach the Court with Clean hands

Person seeking relief under Article 136 must come before the Court with clean hands. In Rasiklal Patel v. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (1985) 2 SCC 36, the petitioner was removed from service on the ground of proved misconduct. He obtained employment in another service by stating in his application that he had voluntarily left the previous service because of transfer. Even though such conduct does not fall within the specified misconduct, the second employer also removed him from service considering his act as misconduct. Petitions before the Labour Court and High Court having failed, the Special Leave Petition filed before the Supreme Court was held liable to fail because the petitioner was guilty of suppression of a material fact from his second employer.


Exhaustion of Statutory Remedies

The Supreme Court may not grant Special Leave from any order, unless the petitioner has first availed of the appellate procedure provided in the Act or under the rules. Before a petition for Special Leave under Article 136 is filed, the petitioner must move the High Court or any other appellate tribunal if the Act or Rules so provide.


Leave granted under Article 136 can be questioned at the hearing of Appeal and same principles are applied while hearing appeal which are applied while granting leave.


Annexures to Special Leave Petition

As per Rule 4 of Order XXI and Rule 7 of Order XXII of the Supreme Court Rules 2013, the petitions shall be accompanied by:

(a) a certified copy of the judgment or order appealed from, and

(b) an affidavit in support of the statement of facts contained in the petition.



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