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Landmark Case Laws on Special Leave Petitions

calendar19 Jul, 2023
timeReading Time: 7 Minutes
Landmark Case Laws on Special Leave Petitions

Special Leave Petitions – the gateway to justice in India! This article explores the landmark case laws on Special Leave Petitions and delves into the depths of our democratic system. From protecting the fundamental rights of citizens to expanding the scope of legal concepts, these case laws have been instrumental in preserving the separation of powers in India. Discover the legal significance of SLPs and their impact on Indian jurisprudence.

What is Special Leave Petitions?

A Special Leave Petition (SLP) is an appeal that can be filed before the SC of India against a final order passed by a High Court. The SLP is usually filed when the party challenging the High Court order believes that the High Court made an error in law or fact or if a constitutional question is at stake. The SC has the power to grant leave to appeal in the SLP, which means that the Supreme Court will choose whether to hear the appeal. If the Supreme Court grants leave, the appeal can proceed to a full hearing before the Supreme Court. The SLP is an integral part of the litigation process in India and is often used to challenge the decisions of inferior courts. It allows a party to seek a remedy if they believe their rights have been infringed or the law has not been correctly applied.

What is the Applicability of a Special Leave Petition?

The Special Leave Petition (SLP) can be filed in the SC of India against a final order passed by a High Court. The law of appeals in India is ruled by the Civil Procedure Code, and the Supreme Court can consider a case on an SLP only if certain conditions are met. The Supreme Court generally entertains an SLP whether:

The case requires a substantial question of law or Constitution:-

  • The case involves a grave violation of some provisions of law laid down in the Constitution or other laws relating to human rights or the fundamental rights of a citizen.
  • The case involves an error apparent on the face of the record.
  • The case involves a misdirection by the High Court which amounts to an exercise of jurisdiction against the law.
  • The case involves an illegal exercise of jurisdiction or gross abuse of jurisdiction by the High Court.
  • The case involves a decision contrary to well-settled principles of law.
  • The case involves a decision contrary to established precedents.

The SC can decide whether to grant or deny a SLP. The Court must weigh the merits of the case and the likelihood of success before deciding whether to leave to appeal.

What are the Landmark Case Laws on Special Leave Petitions?

A Special Leave Petition (SLP) is an appeal that can be filed before the SC of India against a final order passed by a High Court. The SC of India is the highest in the country, and an SLP is a means of seeking justice in cases where the High Court has made an error, a breach of the Constitution, or a fundamental right at stake. The law of appeals in India is governed by the Code of Civil Procedure, and certain conditions must be met for an SLP to be accepted in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will generally entertain an SLP if the case requires a substantial question of law or a Constitutional issue, an apparent error on the part of the document, or a violation of human rights or fundamental rights.

  • KM Mani vs Union of India

One of the most notable SLPs in modern times is KM Mani vs Union of India. It was a case involving the election of the then Chief Minister of Kerala, KM Mani. The case was presented in the Supreme Court in 2019 and dealt with the validity of a constitutional amendment regarding the limit on the number of terms of office of a person as a legislature member. During the trial, the Supreme Court held that the amendment to the Constitution was invalid and struck it down, stating that it violated the basic structure of the Constitution. This case has been cited as a landmark decision in Indian jurisprudence regarding the limits of the power of amendment of the Constitution.

  • Ramallah vs State of Haryana

Another notable case in Special Leave Petitions is Ramallah vs the State of Haryana. This case dealt with the matter of whether a government authority can investigate without following the principles of natural justice. The case concerned a police officer being investigated for corruption and misconduct by a government authority without being allowed to be heard. The Supreme Court held that an investigation by a government agency must follow the principles of natural justice, and the police officer in question should have been permitted to present his case before the investigating agency. This case is notable for establishing the importance of the right to be present in administrative and criminal cases.

  • Balaji vs Union of India

Another case worth mentioning is that of Subramaniam Balaji vs the Union of India. This case dealt with the matter of the question of privacy (Right to Privacy) under the Indian Constitution. In this case, the SC ruled that under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, the right to privacy is a fundamental right. It is a necessary ingredient of personal liberty and dignity. The Court held that the right to autonomy, freedom of thought, freedom of choice and expression in matters of marriage and procreation, and freedom to lead one’s life according to one’s faith are also protected under this right. The case also has far-reaching implications for data privacy and protection of personal information and has been cited in other cases dealing with privacy rights.

  • Binayak Sen vs Union of India

Another notable case in Special Leave Petitions is Binayak Sen vs Union of India. This case dealt with the issue of the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution. Dr Binayak Sen, a physician from Kolkata, was convicted of terrorism-related offences and sentenced to imprisonment of life. The SC ruled that the trial court needed to appreciate the nuances of his speeches and that his activities were protected under the right to freedom of speech and expression. The Court also ruled that there was an abuse of process and a violation of Dr Sen’s rights. The case is notable for establishing the limits of the State’s power to infringe upon the right to freedom of speech and expression.

  • Shanti Devi vs the Union of India

Another critical case in Special Leave Petitions is that of Shanti Devi vs the Union of India. This case dealt with the matter of the question of the right of a woman to inherit property under the Hindu Succession Act 1956. The woman in question had been denied her share in her father’s property by her brothers and had approached the courts for redressal. The Supreme Court held that the Hindu Succession Act, 1956’s provisions are unconstitutional and violate the non-discrimination and right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution. The Court declared that the discrimination in the Act against women was not based on any social or traditional practice or any rational objective, and thus it was arbitrary and unconstitutional. This case has been cited in other cases dealing with gender discrimination in laws.

  • Ratan Lal Bhagat vs State of Punjab

Another notable case is Ratan Lal Bhagat vs. the State of Punjab. This case dealt with the matter of the question of the right of a transgender person to a decent life under Article 21 of the Constitution. The SC ruled that the right to a decent life under Article 21 includes being free of discrimination and harassment found on gender identity and that transgender persons are entitled to protection under the Constitution. The Court also ruled that the rights of transgender persons are inherent in the dignity of every individual guaranteed under the Constitution and that these rights should be recognized, respected, and protected by the State. The case has been cited in other cases focusing on the rights of the transgender community and has been instrumental in providing legal recognition and protection to this community.

  • Koushal vs Naz Foundation

Another notable case in Special Leave Petitions is the Koushal vs Naz Foundation. This case dealt with the matter of the question of the validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalized certain sexual activities. The Supreme Court held that Section 377 was constitutionally valid and did not violate the right to privacy or a decent life guaranteed under the Constitution. The case has been widely criticized for its narrow interpretation of the right to privacy and its dismissal of the experiences of LGBT+ individuals in India. The case has also been cited in other cases dealing with the rights of LGBT+ individuals in India.

  • Arundhati Roy vs Union of India

Another critical case is that of Arundhati Roy vs Union of India. This case dealt with the issue of the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. Arundhati Roy, a writer, delivered a speech in New Delhi expressing her views on Indian identity, corporate exploitation of natural resources, and the Indian political system. The police filed a complaint against her, alleging that her speech had disturbed the public order. The Supreme Court held that the speech did not incite violence or disturb public order and that the right to freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right. The Court ruled that the right to freedom of speech and expression is vital to a democracy and must be safeguarded at all costs. The case has been cited in other cases focusing on the right to freedom of speech and expression.

Thus, Special Leave Petitions are an essential aspect of Indian jurisprudence and play a crucial role in protecting the fundamental rights of citizens[1]. They provide a means for challenging the decisions of inferior courts and can lead to the setting aside of erroneous orders. The case laws surrounding Special Leave Petitions deal with issues such as the limits of the power of the State, the right to privacy, the right to life and liberty, the right to equality, the property right, and the right to freedom of speech and expression. The case laws surrounding Special Leave Petitions have also been instrumental in widening the scope of these rights and in recognizing the rights of marginalized groups such as women and transgender persons in society. Special Leave Petitions have also kept the government and the courts accountable for their actions and have played a crucial role in safeguarding the separation of powers in India. These cases have been cited in numerous other cases and have helped shape the jurisprudence surrounding the fundamental rights of citizens.

Conclusion

The Special Leave Petition is a critical aspect of Indian jurisprudence, providing a means of challenging the decisions of inferior courts. The case laws surrounding Special Leave Petitions deal with issues such as the limits of the power of the State, the right to privacy, the right to freedom of speech and expression, the right to equality, the right to life and liberty, and the property right. These cases have been instrumental in preserving the separation of powers in India and have expanded the scope of these rights and recognized the rights of marginalized groups such as women and transgender persons in society. Special Leave Petitions play a crucial role in protecting the fundamental rights of citizens.

Read our Article: Why SLP Is Not Maintainable?

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