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Supreme Court Appeal Filing Process in India

The Supreme Court is the highest Court of appeal in India. The Judiciary in India follows a hierarchy, at the top of which lies the Supreme Court, and therefore, it can be approached by way of an Appeal, among other mechanisms.

Supreme Court Appeal Filing

For Constitutional matters

In such matters, where a question of law with regards to the Constitution of India needs to be decided upon, then under Article 132(1), an appeal can be made to the Supreme Court.

For these matters, a certificate must be granted by the High Court with regards to the decree orjudgment under Article 134A.

For Civil matters

For instituting an appeal with the Supreme Court in a civil matter, the concerned High Court must be satisfied that:

There is a substantial question of law with general importance.

If in their opinion, the question at hand must be decided by the Supreme Court.

For Criminal matters

For instituting an appeal with the Supreme Court in a criminal matter:

The High Court has on appeal reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death. . For this, no certificate is required by the High Court under Article 134(a) of the Constitution.

The High Court shall have withdrawn itself from trial of a case where the Lower Court has sentenced the accused to death or life imprisonment of minimum ten years. For this, no certificate is required by the High Court under Article 134(b) of the Constitution.

If a particular case is fit for the Supreme Court, a certificate stating the same needs to be given for the matter to be taken up, under Article 134(c) of the Constitution.

Special Leave Petition

By way of Special Leave Petition, the Supreme Court has the discretionary power to decide on any matter passed by any Court or tribunal under Article 136.

It is important to note that the Supreme Court has a very wide appellate jurisdiction over all Courts and Tribunals in India in as much as it may, in its discretion, grant special leave to appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in any cause or matter passed or made by any Court or Tribunal in the territory of India.

The Supreme Court also has Original jurisdiction over matters as enumerated in Article 131 of the Constitution, which means that it can be approached first, without having to go through a series of appeals. Article 131 invokes the Original Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in cases where there is a dispute between and among States, Indian Government, in cases of enforcement of fundamental rights etc.

E-filing- Supreme Court of India

  • The Supreme Court also has an e-filing manual for appeal, which can be accessed through the Supreme Court’s official website. The petitioner/ respondent-in-person and the Advocates on Record have to register themselves as users. After this, an e-filing of the appeal can be done, by entering details of the lower court, case name and number, etc. After this, the relevant documents asked for on the portal need to be uploaded. Once these steps are completed, a user ID will be generated for the matter and the user will get a Provisional Application Number. A compendium for these steps can be found on https://main.sci.gov.in/php/FAQ/5_6246991526434439183.pdf.

Limitation Period for Filing Appeal with Supreme Court

Limitation period to appeal to the Supreme Court is 90 days from the date of the judgment or decree passed by the High Court, if the High Court grants a certificate for such appeal. If the High Court refuses to grant such a certificate, then the limitation period is 60 days. Few case laws on limitation period for filing appeal with the Hon’ble Supreme Court are as under:

Government of Maharashtra v. M/s Borse Brothers Engineers & Contractors Pvt. Ltd. (MANU/SC/0195/2021)

In this case, the Supreme Court held that the aggrieved party has to file an appeal to the Supreme Court under Section 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 within 60 days from the date of the order. It was also observed by the Hon’ble Court that condonation in a scenario of delay in filing such an appeal would be permissible only in case of a short delay.

Perumon Bhagvathy Devaswom, Perinadu Village v. Bhargavi Amma (2008) 8 SCC 321

In this given case, the scope of Section 5 of the Limitation Act was interpreted. The Supreme Court went on to analyse that the words ‘sufficient cause’ under Section 5 of the Limitation Act must be construed liberally in the interests of justice and when the delay in filing an appeal is not because of dilatory tactics, negligence or deliberate inaction of the parties. The Court in this case, essentially protected bona fide delays in the filing of an appeal to the Supreme Court.

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Read more about Supreme Court Appeal Filing here.

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