APPELLATE JURISDICTION OF SUPREME COURT.

Apoorva Banda

 Appellate Jurisdiction literally means Jurisdiction on Appeal. . The power of a superior/higher court to hear and decide appeals against the judgment of a lower court or an inferior court already instituted is called appellate jurisdiction.

Article 132 in The Constitution Of India 1949 132. any party in the case may appeal to the Supreme Court on the ground that any such question as aforesaid has been wrongly decided. if the High Court certifies under Article 134A that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of this Constitution (2) Omitted (3) Where such a certificate is given. decree or final order of a High Court in the territory of India. Appellate jurisdiction of Supreme Court in appeals from High Courts in certain cases (1) An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from any judgment. whether in a civil. . criminal or other proceeding.

 A very broad power is thus conferred onto the Supreme Court to hear appeals in constitutional matters. . decree or final order of a High Court in the territory of India.Art 132(1) states that  An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from any judgment. No difficulty will be faced in bringing up a constitutional controversy before the Court which has been made the final Authority in the matter of interpretation of the Constitution. criminal or other proceeding. whether in a civil. if the High Court certifies under Article 134A that the case involves a substantial question of law.

According to the Explanation given in the Art 132. . Madan Gopal :  An appeal lies only from “any judgment or final order” of a High Court and not an Interim Order.In case of State of Orissa v. final order includes an order which. if decided in favor of the appellant. is sufficient for the final disposal of the case.

criminal or other proceedings”. Art 132(1) uses the expression. The purpose of referring to other proceeding is to emphasize that the other proceedings which do not fall under the category of “civil” or “criminal” would still fall under Art 132(1) in case they raise a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution. . “civil.

But. it is not possible to hold that a true question of interpretation of Constitution has arisen.one party suggesting one construction and the other a different one. where both the parties agree on the true interpretation of the Constitutional Provision. The question of interpretation can arise only if two or more possible constructions are placed on a constitutional provision. .

 The . No difficulty will be faced in bringing up a constitutional controversy before the Court which has been made the final Authority in the matter of interpretation of the Constitution. State of Bombay. “A very broad power is thus conferred onto the Supreme Court to hear appeals in constitutional matters. A “substantial question” doesn’t mean a question of general importance. but a question regarding which there is a difference of opinion. it has been established that. In case of Syedna Taher v.” question involved must be a “substantial question”.

any party appealing to the Supreme Court under clause (1) may urge as one of the grounds in such appeal that a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of this Constitution has been wrongly decided (3) Notwithstanding anything in this article. and (b) that in the opinion of the High Court the said question needs to be decided by the Supreme Court (2) Notwithstanding anything in Article 132. 1949 Appellate jurisdiction of Supreme Court in appeals from High Courts in regard to civil matters (1) An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from any judgment. no appeal shall. decree or final order in a civil proceeding of a High Court in the territory of India if the High Court certifies under Article 134A (a) that the case involves a substantial question of law of general importance. lie to the Supreme Court from the judgment. unless Parliament by law otherwise provides.Article 133 in the Constitution of India. decree or final order of one Judge of a High Court .

.000/.but now according to the 30th Amendment of 1972.  Earlier the financial limit of such civil cases was Rs. there is no minimum amount for taking a civil appeal to the Supreme Court. The term “civil proceedings” include all the proceedings affecting civil rights. appeal may be made against the decision of the High Court. If substantial question of interpretation of law or Constitution is involved. Art 133 covers all civil proceedings. 20.

Supreme Court has contended that “ A question of law which is fairly arguable. or when there is a room for difference of opinion on it. would be regarded as a substantial question of law. otherwise. or when the Court thinks that it is necessary to deal with the question at some length and discuss alternative views. Sundara Money. the question howsoever substantial and important. Durga Prasad.  In State Bank of India v. . should also be of pervasive depth and significance that in the High Court’s judgment it imperatively needs to be settled at the National Level by the Highest Court. In Nathoo lal v. The Supreme Court has emphasized that for the grant of the Certificate. the Apex Court will be flooded with cases of lesser magnitude.

When there is no justification for issuing of the certificate by the High Court. the Supreme Court has revoked the certificate granted by the High Court as. in the opinion of the Supreme Court. State of Madras. The grant of certificate by the High Court is entirely within its discretion. no substantial question of law was involved. but. the Supreme Court can always revoke it. on facts. V. In Express Newspapers Ltd. it doesn’t obligate the Supreme Court to hear the case. .

if a High Court sets aside an appeal or an order of acquittal passed by a lower court and awards death sentence to the accused. appeal can also be made to the Supreme Court if the High Court withdraws a case from a lower court to itself.  Firstly. In this situation also appeals can be made as a matter of right and without certificate from the High Court.  The appeal in cases other than these two categories may also be brought to the Supreme Court provided the High Court grants a certificate that the case is fit for appeal to the Supreme Court. he may bring an appeal to the Supreme Court by right. . declares the accused guilty and awards death sentence.The provisions of the Constitution (Art 134) regulate the criminal appeals to the Supreme Court.  Secondly.

The Supreme Court may grant such a special leave in its discretion but only in rare cases. In case where the High Court refuses to certify a case to be fit for appeal to the Supreme Court. . one may seek special leave to appeal from the Supreme Court itself.

“Notwithstanding anything in this Chapter”.Appeal by Special Leave:  Art 136 empowers the Supreme Court to grant.Obstante clause. in its discretion. 133. special leave to appeal from any judgment. .  This Article starts with a Non. decree determination or sentence or order in any cause or matter passed or made by any court or tribunal in the territory of India. This means that the power of the Supreme Court under Art 136 is unaffected by the Articles 132. 134 and 134(A).

” . On one hand. the Supreme Court has described the nature of its power under Art 136 as follows:  “The exercise of jurisdiction conferred by Art 136 of the Constitution on this court is discretionary. with caution and care and to remedy extraordinary situations or situations occasioning gross failure of justice. It only confers a discretionary power of the widest amplitude on this court to be exercised for satisfying the demands of justice.  On the other hand. it is an overriding power where under the court may generously step in to impart justice and remedy injustice. it is an exceptional power to be exercised sparingly.In Narpat singh v. Jaipur Developmental Authority.

For example. It vests in the Supreme Court a plenary jurisdiction in the matter of entertaining and hearing appeals. Raghu Raj. .The Supreme Court commented from time to time on the plenitude of its power under Art. The article in itself is worded in the widest terms possible. against any kind of judgment or order made by a court or tribunal in any cause or matter and the powers could be exercised in spite of specific provisions or appeal contained in the Constitution or other laws. 136. in cases where the needs of justice demand interference by the Supreme Court of the land. by granting a special leave. In Durga Shankar vs. the court observed:  “The powers given by Art 136 of the Constitution however are in the nature of special or residuary powers which are exercisable outside the purview of ordinary law. The Constitution for the best of reasons did not choose to fetter or circumscribe the powers exercisable under this Article in any way.

A petition for grant of special leave may be rejected for several reasons.  Conduct of the petitioner disentitles him to an indulgence by the court.  The question raised in the petition is not considered fit for consideration by the court or doesn’t deserve to be dealt with by the Apex court. .  Defective presentation. such as:  The petition is time barred.  Petitioner lacks Locus Standi to file the petition.