article 136

NATURE AND SCOPE OF ARTICLE 136 OF THE CONSTITUTION

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What is an SLP?

Any legal system has a hierarchy of courts and tribunals at different levels.  Any party dissatisfied or dissatisfied with the result may appeal to the Court Which is usually a High Court in India.  However, if any party is dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal, another appeal may be made to the Supreme Court of India. Guidelines for these appeal processes provide 132 to 136 articles.

There is a special class of appeals, which cannot follow the general classification of courts and tribunals.  Article 136 of the Constitution of India allows the Supreme Court to grant special leave to appeal against any judgment or order in any matter or case by any court or tribunal in the country.  The Supreme Court is vested with the perfect power to interpret the Constitution as the ultimate guardian.

  What is “special” about SLP?

  Below is the key to Article 136 which distinguishes it from the general appeals listed in 132-135.  First, it is not limited to appeals against high court judgments, decrees and final orders, but can also be granted against lower court judgments.  Note the second point is that Article 136 is fluid and flexible compared to appeals in Articles 132-135.  This basically means that judgments, decrees or orders do not have to be final in nature and that appeals against interconnected and interim trials are also permitted and that they may or may not be subject to criminal or civil nature.  However, in the general course it is generally expected that the appellant trusted out all other provisions provided by the law. Furthermore, there is no law that limits the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court when it comes to Article 136.[1]

  Rules regarding special leave application-

  The following rules have been established in the top case laws.

  On the basis of this article, we may grant special leave to civil, criminal, income tax cases, cases from different tribunals and various other cases.

  An SLPO can be filed if the High Court does not allow fitness to appeal to the Supreme Court.

  Generally, no private party other than the complainant should be allowed to appeal. 

  Scope of Article 136-

  Article 136 gives the Supreme Court the discretion to object to appeals in appropriate circumstances, which are not otherwise provided in the Constitution.  The SC may exercise this discretionary power to grant special leave for appeal of any judgment or decree or refuse to grant leave as it is not a valid matter.[2]The aggrieved party may approach the Supreme Court for clarification on any constitutional or legal issue involved in any civil, criminal or other type of case through Article 136.  Its definition is not limited.  A study of SLPs, however, shows that SCs only make concessions in exceptional circumstances and follow a well-established judicial system in exercising discretionary powers. 

  The jurisdiction of the remainder in criminal appeals has been requested more frequently.  The SC has repeatedly stated that special leave will not be granted unless there are special and exceptional circumstances and / or serious wrongdoing. The case of Pritam Singh v. State, (AIR 1950 SC 169: 1950 SCR 453) has gained immense importance in understanding SLP.

By Moumita Muhuri, 3rd year of Shyambazar Law College.


[1] Special Leave Petition – What, How & When –https://blog.ipleaders.in/special-leave-petition/.

[2]Special Leave Petition – What, How & When –https://blog.ipleaders.in/special-leave-petition/.

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