An Overview of Special Leave Petition
A Special Leave Petition (SLP) is one of the important provisions of the Indian legal system. The Supreme Court has been granted a residuary power by the Constitution of India which can only be exercised when there is a substantial question of law or gross injustice has been committed.
The party who is aggrieved is provided with special permission to be heard before the Supreme Court in the form of an appeal made against any order or judgement passed by a lower court or tribunal in India. Such a petition is filed for an appeal. After the petition has been filed and heard in the Supreme Court, the court can grant leave and convert such a petition to an appeal if the court deems fit. After the special leave petition has been converted to an appeal, the court hears the matter and passes a valid judgement to serve justice.
What is “Special” about SLP?
There are several features which make a Special leave petition different from other appeals stated under Articles 132 to 135. These are as follows:
When can an SLP be made?
For filing an SLP, a person needs to fulfill the below-mentioned pre-requisites:
Circumstances under which a Special Leave Petition can be filed
There are pre-defined circumstances or situations under which a party can file a Special leave petition in the Supreme Court. These are:
Rules to be followed while filing a Special Leave Petition
Many landmark judgements passed by the Supreme Court have laid down certain rules related to a special leave petition. These rules are:
Time limit to file SLP
An SLP can also be filed against the order of the concerned High Court which has refused to grant a Certificate of Fitness for an appeal to the Supreme Court to the aggrieved party within 60 days of passing of such order of refusal.
Powers conferred to the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Indian Constitution
Article 136 of the Indian Constitution is one of the important articles which provide power to the Supreme Court. These powers are as follows:
Therefore, an aggrieved party should only approach the court during some exceptional situations and not during the regular course of litigation.
The power provided to the Supreme Court under Article 136 is discretionary in nature. It means that when an aggrieved party approaches the Supreme Court by filing a special leave petition requesting the Hon’ble Court to allow such a party to file an appeal and be heard, even though it is not a regular course of action.
Procedure for filing a Special Leave Petition
A party willing to file a Special Leave Petition must follow the below-mentioned steps. The steps are as follows:
- There is a pre-defined format of an SLP provided by the Supreme Court in Form No. 28.
- The party who is willing to file an SLP must mention all the facts clearly to convince the Supreme Court to consider that the SLP is maintainable and the aggrieved party must be given a right to be heard by the Supreme Court.
- All personal details such as the name, age and address of the parties to an SLP along with the details of the court or the tribunal whose order, decree or judgement has been impugned.
- The document of the petition must clearly specify the involved substantial question of law which has been aroused in the case.
- The grounds on which the party wishes to make an appeal must be clearly specified.
- The prayer clause mentioned at the end of the petition must clearly specify the relief which the party wants to claim from the Supreme Court.
- If the party wants an interim relief during the pendency of the petition, he/she is required to mention the relief along with mentioning the grounds on which such interim relief is being sought from the Supreme Court.
- The aggrieved party is also required to affix a declaration that the aggrieved party has not filed any petition for appeal against any order or decree passed by a court or a tribunal. It is also mandatory to mention the attached annexure to the SLP.
- It is mandatory for the parties to get the petition signed by an Advocate-on-record.
- The draft of SLP must be filed with the registry along with 7 copies of it with payment of necessary fees.
- After considering the facts and circumstances of the petition, the Supreme Court has the authority to decide whether a special leave can be granted or not.
- After the leave to file an appeal has been granted, the Supreme Court has to exercise its appellate jurisdiction and pass the decision. Such a decision is binding on the parties to the appeal.
Frequently Asked Questions
In a broad manner, there are basically two major grounds on which a party can file an SLP in the Supreme Court. These are:
- When the matter involves a substantial question of law in the appeal made before the Supreme Court and the same has to be A substantial question of law must be involved in the appeal, which is brought before the Supreme Court, and the same has to be determined by the Supreme Court itself.
- When it has been found that gross injustice has been made in an order or a decree violating the basic principles of fair trial and principles of natural justice.