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Shivani Jain

Shivani Jain | Updated: May 06, 2020 | Category: Civil Law

Special Leave Petition: A Complete Guide

The concept of Special Leave Petition (SLP) holds an important place in the Indian Judiciary. It has been given as a “residual power” within the hands of the Supreme Court of India. The term residual power means to be exercised solely in the cases where any substantial question of law is concerned, or gross injustice has been caused. Further, it provides the related aggrieved party special permission to appeal in the Apex court against any the judgment or order passed by any Court or tribunal within the territory of India.

What is a Special Leave Petition?

The term Special leave petition (SLP) means taking of a special permission by an individual for being heard in an appeal against the order or judgment passed by any High court, Court, or tribunal. Therefore, SLP is not an appeal but a petition filed regarding an appeal.

So, once an SLP is filed, the Hon’ble Supreme Court may hear the substance, and if it considers fit, it may grant the ‘leave’ and convert that said petition into an ‘appeal.’ Hence, an SLP shall become an Appeal only if the Hon’ble Supreme Court has granted the leave. Thereafter, the Supreme Court will hear the concerned matter and pass judgment.

Who Can File an SLP?

Any aggrieved person is eligible to file an SLP in the Apex Court. The said petition is filed against the order or judgment passed or of refusal of the grant of certificate.

When can a Special Leave Petition be Filed?

The appeal in the form of a special leave petition can be made in a case where any substantial question of law is involved or where gross injustice has been caused. Further, the judgment, order, or decree against which the appeal is being filed must have the character of judicial adjudication. This means that purely executive or administrative order or ruling cannot be considered as a matter of appeal. Further, it is also relevant to note that the authority whose judgment, order, or decree is being appealed against should fall under the purview of a court or a tribunal.

Furthermore, the Special Leave Petition (SLP) will not apply to any judgment, decree or order passed by any court or tribunal relating the armed forces. This is the only exclusion given in clause 2 of Article 136 in our Indian Constitution.

What are the Circumstances Under Which an SLP Can Be Filed?

The following listed are the situations or the circumstances under which an SLP can be filed in the Supreme Court –

  1. A Special Leave Petition (SLP) may be filed against any judgment, order decree, or the sentence of any Court or Tribunal within the territory of India, for both criminal and civil subject matter.
  2. An SLP can also be filed if in the respective High Court has refused to grant the needed Certificate of Fitness for Appeal to the Apex Court to the concerned aggrieved as under other relevant provisions.
  3. However, the above two mentioned provisions do not apply to any tribunal or court constituted under any law concerning the Armed Forces.
  4. An SLP is required to be filed within ninety days against the impugned order passed by the Court or tribunal.
  5. Further, the said period is reduced to sixty days if the High Court has refused to issue the Certificate of Fitness to Appeal to the aggrieved person.

What are the Rules Regarding a Special Leave Petition?

In some of the leading case laws, the following listed rules have been established –

By means of this article, the Apex Court can grant special leave in the civil, criminal, or the Income tax-related cases, or the cases from various tribunals and any other variety of case.

Further, SLP can also be filed if in case a High Court does not approve the fitness for appeal to the Supreme Court. Normally, a private party other than the complainant must not be permitted to appeal.

What is the Time Duration for Filling SLP?

The time frame for filing an SLP against any judgment passed by the High Court is 90 days starting from the date of the judgment. However, it is significant to note that there is flexibility provided at the discretion of the Supreme Court.

Further, a Special Leave Petition can be filed within a period of 60 days against the order of the High Court refusing to issue the certificate of fitness for appeal to the Supreme Court.

What are the Powers Conferred on The Supreme Court Under Article 136 of the Constitution?

The following listed are the powers conferred on the Supreme Court by way of Article 136 of the Constitution –

  1. Article 136 plays a crucial role as it provides the Supreme Court with a special power known as the “residual power” to step up whenever it feels that there is any kind of gross injustice involved or when there is a substantial error of law apparent on the face of the concerned case. The main objective of this power is to lay down an extraordinary jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in which an aggrieved person can approach to get the grave miscarriage of justice rectified and also to pronounce accurate law on that subject.
  2. It is noteworthy to note that the Apex Court does not function as a regular court in which one can go and file the appeal against any order or judgment passed by any high court or any other court. Hence, one should approach the Supreme Court only in exceptional circumstances and not for the regular course of Litigation.
  3. Further, the powers conferred by way of Article 136 are discretionary. This means whenever an aggrieved person approaches the Apex Court by way of Special Leave Petition (SLP), he or she is requesting to be able to make an appeal and be heard by the Supreme Court, although it is not the regular course of action.

What is the Procedure for Filing a Special Leave Petition?

The following listed are the steps which are to be followed for filing a Special Leave Petition –

  1. The Supreme Court has a pre-set format for the filing of the SLP in Form no. 28.
  2. The SLP must lucidly state all the facts clearly in order to convince the Apex Court that the present SLP is maintainable and deserves to be heard by the Court.
  3. All the details of the parties must be mentioned along with the court or the tribunal from which the impugned order has been passed.
  4. The petition drafted must clearly state the Question of Law involved.
  5. All the grounds of the appeal must also be clearly mentioned.
  6. The main prayer, along with the relief being sought from the Apex Court, must also be clearly stated in the petition.
  7. Further, the Interim relief being sought along with the grounds for the same must also be stated.
  8. Furthermore, a DECLARATION must also be affixed, declaring that there is no other petition seeking leave to appeal against the impugned order or judgment passed, and the annexures provided together with the SLP are true copies of the pleadings or documents which formed part of the records of the case.
  9. The petition drafted must be signed by an AOR (Advocate-on-Record).
  10. The SLP drafted has to be filed in the registry in seven copies, along with the appropriate fee.
  11. The Apex Court then decides if special leave can be granted or not in the particular case.
  12. If in case the leave is granted, then the Supreme Court shall exercise its appellate jurisdiction, and the resulting decisions will be binding.

Conclusion

Special Leave Petition is a huge tool for the dispensation of justice from the Supreme Court in the country. However, the provisions relating to SLP are very fluid and flexible due to its inherent nature. Therefore, there are several leave petitions, which have a tendency to choke the SC, but at the same time, there are plenty which are rejected at the admissions stage also, which kinds of keeps a balance.
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Shivani Jain

Shivani Jain

Shivani has completed her B com LLB (Hons) and has the experience of writing various research papers during her college time. Earlier she was working as an Associate in a Delhi based Law Firm, but her interest in writing made her pursue Legal Content Writing as a career. Her core area of interest is in writing about various legal enactments, tax and finance.


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