Special Leave Petitions and recent actions taken by Supreme Court

Special Leave Petitions (SLP)

It has been provided as a “residual power” to the Supreme Court

Article 136 of Indian Constitution vests the Supreme Court with a special power to grant special leave, to appeal against any order or judgment passed or made by any Court/tribunal in India. It is to be used I case any substantial constitutional question of law is involved or gross injustice has been done. It is different from usual appeals and has much wider scope for gross injustice

The provision is given in such a way that it allows Supreme Court may in its discretion refuse to grant leave to appeal. That’s why it is specified as Petition and its totally up to the court to grant leave to appeal or not. Therefore, the aggrieved party cannot claim Special leave to appeal as a right under Article 136.


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Yesterday (30-08-2020) Supreme Court again expressed displeasure and strongly deprecated the practice of Filing Delayed SLPs only to obtain Dismissal Certificate

Recently, SC dismissed an SLP filed by Government of Andhra Pradesh on the grounds of delay in filing SLPs stating that ‘State of Andhra Pradesh does it again!’, the bench was led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul with other 2 judges namely Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Aniruddha Bose and it also observed "All we can say that if there is public interest involved then the Government has been grossly negligent to look after public interest.” While dismissing another SLP by the State of West Bengal, Justice Kaul led bench had observed that the Government has no right to walk into this Court as and when they want, the Supreme Court remarked while dismissing a Special Leave Petition filed by State of West Bengal for being barred in time. In that case, a delay of 1697 days was sought to be condoned on the ground that there is a public interest involved and there are certain other matters pending.

And this was not for first time that any state delayed in filing SLP before SC,also in 2019, the bench headed by Justice Kaul only, dismissed an SLP filed by Government of Bihar and also imposed cost of Rs. 20,000 on the government for delay in filing SLP and said “We are of the view that a clear signal has to sent to the Government Authorities that they cannot approach the Court as and when they please, on account of gross incompetence of their officers and that too without taking any action against the concerned officers."

In the same year only, SC also dismissed one more SLP filed by Government of Tamil Nadu and by taking doing so it discouraged filing of ‘Certificate Cases’

The above dismissals by SC also proves that it (Special Leave Petition-SLP) is discretionary power vested to the Supreme court by Constitution of India and also it is special power which can be used only if gross injustice has been done.





Credit: Hiren Momaya

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