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This article is written by Naveen Dabral, pursuing Certificate Course in Introduction to Legal Drafting: Contracts, Petitions, Opinions & Articles from LawSikho. The article has been edited by Prashant Baviskar (Associate, LawSikho) and Smriti Katiyar (Associate, LawSikho).

Introduction

The Supreme Court is mainly an apex court of appeal in India and can entertain appeals in all matters if certain specified requirements of Articles 132, 133, and 134 of the Constitution of India are met with. The appeals may be filed against any judgment/decree/final order of the various High Courts and as well as the Subordinate Courts in the territory of India.

If the concerned High Court certifies with respect to Article 134A that the case involves a substantial question of law which requires interpretation of the constitution or of general importance for the public in large and that in the opinion of the concerned High Court the said question needs to be decided by the Supreme Court. Where such a certificate is given by the High court, any party in the case may appeal to the Apex Court on the ground that any such question has been wrongly decided.

Special Leave Petition (SLP)

  • If the concerned High Court refuses to certify a case as above said or if any of the conditions as above said are not fulfilled, any party can ask for Special Leave to file an appeal by invoking the extraordinary (special) appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution.
  • Under Article 136 of the Constitution of India an SLP can be filed in the following circumstances:
  1. SLP can be filed against any judgment/order/ decree/ determination of any High Court/Tribunal.
  2. SLP can also be filed if the concerned High Court declines to grant the certificate of fitness to appeal to the Supreme Court.

However, SLP  cannot be obtained to challenge any judgment,/decree/determination/ sentence or order passed or made by any court or tribunal constituted by or under any law relating to the Armed Forces [Article 136(2)].

  • The appeal in the form of a special leave petition can be made in a case where any substantial question of law is involved or where gross injustice has been caused. Further, the judgment, order, or decree against which the appeal is being filed must have the character of judicial adjudication. This means that purely executive or administrative order or ruling cannot be considered as a matter of appeal. 
  • In plain, the term Special Leave Petition (SLP) means taking of a special permission by an individual for being heard in an appeal against the order/ judgment/decree/determination passed  or made by any High court, Court, or tribunal. Therefore, SLP is not an appeal but a petition filed for an appeal. So, once an SLP is filed, the Hon’ble Supreme Court may hear the matter, and if it considers fit, it may grant the ‘leave’ and convert that said petition into an ‘appeal. Thereafter, the Supreme Court will hear the concerned matter and pass judgment.

SLP and limitation

  • The limitation period for filing an SLP is laid down in the Supreme Court Rules, 2013.
  • The SLP has to be filed within 60 days in case the High Court refused to give a certificate of fitness to appeal to the Supreme Court. The period of 60 days is calculated from the date of the order of refusal by the High Court.
  • In other cases, the limitation period is 90 days from the date of judgment/order challenged in the SLP. However, while computing the limitation period, the time period spent in making the application to seek certificate in the High Court till its rejection is to be excluded.

Important part and clauses in the definition 

Synopsis

  • Synopsis is the most important part in the entire SLP where the petitioner introduces a brief synopsis of the facts and issues presented in the case. Synopsis is something which is going to put the best of the case forward. Therefore we need to put a lot of effort into synopsis in order to catch the eyes of the Hon’ble judges of the Supreme Court.
  • The first paragraph of the synopsis is meant for the judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order against which the petitioner has filed the present SLP. 
  • Explain the case in simple and brief where the idea is to simplify life for everybody be it an advocate, his client or judges. The simpler one can make the complex question, the easier it becomes the chances of getting the eyes of the Hon’ble Judges.

Brief of the case

  • Apart from the client’s story, read all the pleadings and documents that the client had gone through in the courts subordinate to the Supreme Court since as an officer of the court it is the responsibility of an Advocate to make sure that all the documents or pleading annexed with the SLP are true.

List of dates and events 

  • Events need to be entered there in the list chronologically and Annexure are to be marked only as long as the annexed documents form a part of the pleadings of the courts subordinate to the Supreme Court. We cannot file anything which we have not filed in the trial court and the High court proceedings.
  • For filing a new or an additional document, a permission from the Hon’ble  Supreme Court is to obtain by filing an Interlocutory Application (IA) for additional document and the grounds thereof  are to be stated therein, consequently it is upon the discretion of the court to permit to bring the new documents on record or not.
  • Where we are to file the subsequent events which took place after the impugned order in challenge in the SLP, we cannot use that them in SLP as a matter of course, rather file them as additional documents via an IA as to bring the latest events and documents on record and also state all the grounds as to why you want to file them and why it is important for adjudication of the matter.
  • The date of the impugned order which is to be challenged by the present SLP will always form part of the list of dates and events in its last column. 

Cause title 

Cause title mainly contains

  • The title as to whether the present SLP is filed for invoking the criminal appellate jurisdiction or the civil appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
  • The statement to the effect that against what impugned judgment/ order / decree or determination of the concerned High court, subordinate court or tribunal the petitioner is pleading.
  • A statement to the prayer of interim relief, if it is proper to ask in the instant petition. For example: Prayer for release on bail as an interim relief.
  • The name of different interlocutory application (IAs), for example:  an application for exemption from filing official translation,  an application for condonation for delay in filing the said SLP, or- application for filing lengthy list of dates and events.

Memo of parties

  • A full description and addresses of the parties and their status in the courts subordinate to the Supreme Court in the form of the memo of parties is to be mentioned in the beginning of the petition.
  • Memo of parties is always considered as the most important part of the petition as no party should be ignored when they were already a party in the courts subordinate to the Supreme Court, that is, no party should go unheard. Therefore memo of parties must be cross checked from the pleadings happened in the lower courts.
  • Where the respondent is the state or a company, it must be clear to whom the petitioner wants the notice to be issued. For example: State of Uttarakhand through Police station Patel Nagar and Reliance capital Ltd through its chairman/ MD etc.
  • Where the petitioner had never been a party to matter in the courts subordinate to the Supreme Court, but still wishes to challenge the said matter through an SLP, he can do so by filing an IA as a permission to file an SLP. And then it is at the discretion of the Hon’ble court to grant such permission or not.

Question of law

  • The petitioner has to make questions of law to make an appeal against the judgment. These questions should relate to laws relevant to the general public as well.
  • The grounds of challenge should then be systematically set out as to why the High Court’s judgment is not correct in law. Make this clause as limited as possible by bringing forward only those points which we think the court should be adjudicating upon and state the specific point of law. For example, where a bail application was dismissed state the legal points why it was dismissed. Supporting the precedent case laws where the Hon’ble Supreme Court had settled its position regarding that question of law.
new legal draft

Declaration clauses

  • There are the two declarations that the petitioner needs to enter upon while drafting an SLP, viz.
  1. Declaration in terms of Rule (2) (2).
  2. Declaration in terms of Rule (4).
  • The former declaration deals with the statement that no other petition seeking SLP has been filed by the appellant against the same judgment/order/decree/determination and the latter one, that the documents filed with the petition are true and form part of the record of the courts below.  Both have very standard formats provided in the Supreme Court website.

Grounds for the grant of the Special Leave to Appeal

  • The grounds to be taken are of such a kind which indicates that the lower court is at fault as it ignored the material facts and erred in taking them into consideration.
  • For example: Because the Hon’ble High court erred in noticing that there is no ingredient implicating the petitioner in Constitution of the alleged offence and that no iota of evidence had been put forward on record to make out a case against the petitioner.
  • The grounds for the grant of the SLP must be the same which have been taken in the courts subordinate to the Supreme Court. Never take a ground which had not pleaded before.
  • We can only argue in an SLP jurisdiction on those facts/ documents/evidence which would have already been produced in the lower courts in hierarchy that the judges in the lower judiciary were able to look at it and adjudicate accordingly.

Grounds for Interim Relief

  • Along with the SLP, where some interim relief is prayed for, mostly sought in the form bail and stay in the proceeding of the impugned order/decree/ judgment/ determination against which the SLP has been filed. The grounds are such as how the petitioner is ready to abide by the conditions of the said relief once granted and how the petitioner is a suitable applicant for the said relief.

Prayer Clause

  • There are two kinds of prayer clauses in an SLP draft, one is the main prayer and the other is the prayer for the interim relief if any. While the former deals with granting the special leave for appeal against the impugned order/ judgment /decree or determination of any court or tribunal subordinate to the Supreme Court, the latter one becomes significant at the notice stage.
  • No separate application for interim relief needs to be filed. Interim relief prayer is to be stated in the main petition itself.
  • The interim relief is prayed for mostly in the form of bail and putting a stay in the proceeding of the impugned order/decree/ judgment/ determination against which the SLP has been filed.

Certificate 

  • A certificate by an (AOR) Advocate-On-Record is issued on the instructions of the petitioner certifying that The SLP is limited only to the proceeding/order of the lower court and their facts, documents and grounds only and to the relevancy of the documents attached.

Index

  • The index in the SLP draft is slightly different from the regular index format that happened to be in the regular plain or petition as documents here are separated therefore pages are separately listed.
  • Appendix is important in asserting as to what section the SLP is relied upon. In criminal matters one has to annex a FIR format, which forms the last section therein.

Format of the SLP draft 

Order XXI and Order XXII of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, deals with the SLP (Civil) and SLP (criminal) respectively. The Supreme Court has a pre-set format for the filing of the SLP in Form no. 28.Elluciated here below.

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 SAMPLE DRAFT OF THE SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION UNDER ARTICLE 136 OF THE CONSTITUTION

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA 

[S.C.R., Order XXI Rule 3(1) (a)]

               CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION 

                                              UNDER ORDER XXII RULE 2(1)

                                              S.L.P. (Criminal) No. 165215 OF 2021

(Against the impugned judgment and the final order dated 15.08.2021 and passed by the of the Hon’ble High court of Uttarakhand at Nainital in UK..Cr.C. No.5585/2021)

 BETWEEN                                              Position of Parties 

                                                                   In the Hon’ble High Court    In this Hon’ble Court

Raman Rawat @ram S/o Chaman RawatR/o 176 Sailok colony G.M.S Road, Dehradun Uttarakhand                  VersusPetitionerPetitioner
The State of Uttarakhand through Police Station Vasant Vihar, Dehradun UttarakhandRespondent/ StateRespondent

TO

         HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA

          AND HIS COMPANION JUDGES OF THE

          SUPREME COURT OF INDIA.

THE HUMBLE PETITION OF THE PETITIONER ABOVE NAMED

 MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH:

 1. That the petitioner is filing this Special Leave Petition against the impugned order and final order dated 16.08.2021 passed by the High court of Uttarakhand at Dehradun in UK..Cr.C. No.5585/2021 whereby the Hon’ble High Court dismissed the Anticipatory bail application filed by the petitioner.

2. QUESTIONS OF LAW:

  1. Whether the rejection of the bail application was correct in terms of the law laid down in the catena of judgments by this Hon’ble court?
  2. Whether the Hon’ble High Court ignored the fact that the matter has been settled between the parties and more so was of civil nature and did not require criminal proceedings?
  3. Whether the Hon’ble High Court failed to appreciate that the petitioner did not commit any offence nor did he conspire to attempt an act as alleged in the complaint?
  4. Whether the Hon’ble High Court erred by ignoring the settled principles of anticipatory bail jurisprudence that the petitioner is unlikely to abscond or misuse his liberty while in bail?

 3. DECLARATION IN TERMS OF RULE 3(2): The petitioner states that he has filed no other petition seeking leave to appeal has been filed by him against the impugned judgment and order dated 16.08.2021 passed by the High court of Uttarakhand at Dehradun in UK..Cr.C. No.5585/2021

 4. DECLARATION IN TERMS OF RULE 5: The Annexure P-1 and P-2 filed along with the Special Leave Petition are the true copies of the pleadings/documents which formed part of the records of the case in the Court/ Tribunal below against whose order the leave to appeal is sought for in this petition.

 5. GROUNDS: Leave to appeal is sought for on inter alia, the following grounds.

  1. Because the Hon’ble High Court erred in taking into account that the basis, the documents prima facie, the petitioner has not committed any offence as alleged against him.
  2. Because the Hon’ble High Court ignored that the petitioner is innocent and has been falsely robbed in the entire case.
  3. Because the Hon’ble High Court erred in noticing that there is no ingredient in implicating the petitioner in the constitution of the alleged offence. And that no iota of evidence has been put on record to make out a case against the petitioner.
  4. …………
  5. …………..
  6. ………….etc.

 6. GROUNDS FOR INTERIM RELIEF:

  1. That the petitioner is ready to abide by all the conditions that this Hon’ble court may impose while granting the benefit of bail.
  2. That the petitioner is the permanent resident of the address mentioned in the cause title where he has both movable and immovable properties, and there is no chance of him to abscond.
  3. That the petitioner has a good prima facie case and balance of convenience lies in his favour.

 7. MAIN PRAYER:

Wherefore, in the light of the above the petitioner herein most humbly submits that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to:

  1. Grant a Special leave to appeal against the impugned order and final order dated 16.08.2021 passed by the High court of Uttarakhand at Dehradun in UK..Cr.C. No.5585/2021;
  2. Pass any other order or orders as this Hon’ble court may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.

 8. INTERIM RELIEF: 

Wherefore, in the light of the above the petitioner herein most humbly submits that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to:

  1. Grant anticipatory bail to the petitioner to the satisfaction of the Ld  Session Judge, Dehradun, Uttarakhand during the pendency of the Special Leave Petition;
  2. Pass any other order or orders as this Hon’ble court may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.

 AND FOR THIS ACT OF KINDNESS, THE PETITIONER / APPLICANT AS IN DUTY BOUND SHALL EVER PRAY.                                         

                                                                                                                                                                       Filed by:                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                 Naveen Dabral   

                                                                                            Advocate-on-Record for the Petitioners Place: New Delhi

 Drawn on: 10.09.2021

 Filed on: 19.09.2021

 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA 

               CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION 

                                               S.L.P. (Criminal) No. 165215 OF 2021

IN THE MATTER OF;

Ram Rawat @Ram                                                                                                        …Petitioner

                                                                       VERSUS                                                 

State of Uttarakhand                                                                                                    …Respondent

                                                                  CERTIFICATE

It is to certify that this Special Leave Petition is confirmed only to the pleadings before the High Court of Uttarakhand whose order is challenged and the documents relied upon in those proceedings. No additional/new facts, documents or grounds have been taken therein or relied upon in this Petition. It is further certified that the copies of the documents/annexure attached to this Petition are necessary to answer the question of law raised in the petition or to make out grounds urged in this Petition for consideration of this Hon’ble Court. This Certificate is given on the basis of the instructions given by the Petitioner person authorized by the Petitioner whose affidavit is filed in support of the SLP.

Date 10th of September 2021
New Delhi 
Filed by
Adv Naveen Dabral

                 INDEX





SR. NO.




PARTICULARS OF  THE DOCUMENTS




Page No. of the parts of which it belongs






REMARK
PART-IContents of the paper bookPART-II Contents of the file alone
Court feesAA
Office report on limitationA1A2
Listing PerformaA3
Cover page of the paper book.A4
Index of recording of the proceeding.




…………………
……………………..

Conclusion

Special Leave Petition or SLP holds a prime place in the Indian judicial system and has been provided as a “residual power” in the hands of the Supreme Court of India to be exercised only in cases when any substantial question of law is involved or gross injustice has been done. It is a discretionary power vested in the Supreme Court of India and It also has the power to refuse the SLP. The Constitution of India under Article 136 provides privilege to the Supreme Court of India to grant leave to appeal or not. 

References


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