Special Leave Petition- In Indian Judicial System

Special Leave Petition

Knowledge of basic law is important to every and each individual to some extent. It’s right of every person to understand the law of the country he’s residing in. Each member of society lives in his / her own conformity with certain and specific rules following to take care of the social code of conduct. Every individual has got to climb the steps of Court once in his lifetime. However, it’s a duty to abide by the principles of court and know his or her rights. And during this series allow us to know what is the Special Leave Petition.

The Constitution of India itself is an extreme definition of the rights of each citizen. Art. 136 of the Indian Constitution empowers us to enter 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.

In Indian Court, there’s a selected order of hierarchy of courts. After the judgment of the court, any party, unsatisfied, or aggrieved party by choice of the court can approach the appeals court, which in India is Supreme Court. However, if the party isn’t satisfied by the choice of the Supreme Court, the aggrieved party can further appeal to the Supreme Court of India.

Meaning of Special Leave Petition

SLP (Special Leave Petition) means the aggrieved party takes special permission to be heard in Supreme Court against the judgment given by the appeals court generally Supreme Court and sometimes Tribunals. However, the Special Leave Petition isn’t an appeal but a petition filed for an appeal. It’s up to the Supreme Court to grant the petition to be heard if it deems fit to be heard. If the permission is granted then the Special Leave Petition is automatically converted into an appealing matter. Hence, it is often said that the Supreme Court grants the “Leave” and convert the petition into “Appeal”. Furthermore, the Special Leave Petition shall become an appeal, and therefore the before the matters are heard and the judgment is passed respectively. SLP is often filed just in case when a supreme court refuses to grant the certificate of fitness for appeal to the Supreme Court of India. The rules for the Special Leave Petition are mentioned within the Constitution of Indian, 1950 under articles 132,133,134,135, and 136. The Supreme Court of India is bestowed with the veto powers of interpretation of the Constitution of India because of the whole, soul, and supreme guardian of the Constitution of India, 1950.

When cam SLP be filed

The appeal is often made where a gross injustice has been made or a considerable question of law has been observed.

The judgment, decree or order against which the appeal is being made must have the face of judicial arbitration. This suggests that purely administrative or executive order or ruling can’t be a matter of the appeal. Furthermore, it’s important that the authority whose judgment or order is being appealed against SLP must fall into the definition of a court or a tribunal. Therefore, it’s the duty of the client to see before applying for SLP.

The Supreme Court cares regarding the law applied within the judgment or order or decree given by the Supreme Court or if it fails to offer a certificate of fitness for the interest be heard in the Supreme Court. Mere errors of fact, mis-appreciation of evidence, or even findings of fact received wrongly aren’t grounds of appeal before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is merely concerned with the question of law, if the law was correctly applied, whether the interpretation of the law was in accordance with the settled principles of law.

Article 136 of the Indian Constitution features special instructions stating that the Special Leave Petition shall not apply to the judgment or decree or order with regard to the soldiers. it’s the sole exception in Special Leave Petition given in Clause 2 of Article 136 of Constitution of India, 1950.

Special Leave Petition is often filed against any judgment of the Supreme Court or the other inferior court within 90 days from the date of judgment, or it is often filed within 60 days against the order of a supreme court refusing to grant the certificate of fitness for appeal to Supreme Court.

Art. 133 proffer for civil appeals from orders of the High Court, Art. 134 bestows for criminal appeals and Art. 136 provides for special leave petition. If a matter or case filled does not fall within Article 133 or Article 134 then it comes under Article 136. Article 136 states that the Supreme Court can order the High Court order and special permission may seek to grant leave to appeal.

Appeal to the Supreme Court is not a matter of right but it is a matter of privilege of an individual. It is provided by the Supreme Court if there exists the question of Constitutional validity or legal issue involved.

According to Art. 141, the Supreme Court Judgement is declared as law of the land, and it is the duty of each and every Indian Court to follow the law. Hence, it is binding on all lower courts.

Important Judgement

The Kunhayammed vs State of Kerala, AIR 2000 SCC 2587

 In the above case, the matter was regarding the jurisdiction under Art. 136 and whether it appropriate for granting SLP and eventually hearing the case. If the court decides not to provide an SLP on its findings then the appellate jurisdiction does not come into the scenario. However, mere dismissal does not mean that it has lost its meaning, but it has the power to move to the Supreme Court. There exists res judicata (matter that has been adjudicated by a competent court and therefore may not be pursued further by the same parties). Therefore, it is up to the aggrieved party to put the matter on review under Art. 226 (power of High Court to issue Writs).

However, if the SLP is not granted, it is the duty of the party to abide by the order given by the courts. Under Art. 141, the Supreme Court has veto powers, everything laid down by the Supreme Court is the law and correct interpretation of the law and is binding on all lower courts.

Sanwat Singh vs State of Rajasthan, AIR 1961 SC 715

There was a riot between two groups of individuals leading to injury to property and other people and includes the murder of two farmers. On findings, the Sessions Court acquitted the convicts. But on appeal, the Supreme Court found some accused guilty and sentenced them to varied terms of imprisonment. One among the convicts applied for a special leave petition against the conviction and sentence by the Supreme Court. The appellants argued that the High Court interfered with the findings of the Sessions court and it was a departure from the principles of the Privy Council. The Supreme Court ruled that Art. 136 vests discretionary power which can be enforced only when a grave injustice has been seen regarding the law applied rather than the facts and evidence found. Hence, the appeal was dismissed.

Other Few Important Case laws are –

a) Pritam Singh v. State, AIR 1950 SC 169:1950 SCR 453

b) State of AP v P Anjaneyulu, AIR 1982, SC 1184

c) Jaswant Sugar Mills Ltd. v. Laxmichand, AIR 1963 SC 677


Special Leave Petition is a huge contrivance of the dispensation of justice from the Supreme Court in the country. However, SLP is a very flexible provision because of its inherent and changing nature. However, inevitably there are many leave petitions, which tend to flood the Supreme Court, but there is a huge number of petitions which are rejected at the admissions stage also, which helps to keep a balance.

“The views of the authors are personal

Frequently Asked Questions

When can a special leave petition be filed?

SLP can be filed against any judgment of the High Court within 90 days from the date of judgment. Or SLP can be filed within 60 days against the order of the High Court refusing to grant the certificate of fitness for appeal to the Supreme Court.

Can an SLP be rejected?

Following SC judgment says that appeal to supreme court known as special leave petition (SLP) under Article 136 of the Indian constitution can be rejected if the statements made by the appellant are found to be false.

Can we file a review petition in the high court?

Yes, a review petition can be filed in the high court itself against the decision of a division bench of 2 judges. Generally, a review petition is available only on limited grounds, such as an error apparent on the face of the record.

What is the meaning of leave granted?

When the Court says ‘leave granted’, it means it has admitted your petition and will hear it as an appeal.

Can SLP be filled against any law?

Yes SLP can be filed against any field of law including civil, criminal, and even tax matters.

Can a person directly approach the Supreme Court?

The appellate party must take permission from the High Court before moving to the apex court, however, if the certificate of fitness is not given then the aggrieved party can move directly to Supreme Court under Art. 136.

Ameyprasad Atigre
Ameyprasad Atigre, currently pursuing 1st Year Law Course [B.A.LL.B (Hons.)] from Government Law College, Mumbai (Maharashtra). The areas of interest for him are Contract Law, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Labour Law, Human Rights Law, Intellectual Property Law, Cyber Law. He is looking forward to creating a breakthrough career in law, he takes acute care in developing his research skills as well as dealing with National and International Moot Court Competitions and International Law Committee. He has worked with Adv. Pandit Atigre in Dist. Court of Kolhapur. He has a keen interest in writing his own Blogs, Legislative Comments, Short Articles, Newsletter articles, Articles for Journals.