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Classification of Cases Entertained by The Supreme Court

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Introduction

The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum in the Indian Legal System. It is the court of final appeal and the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution and laws of the land. It has extensive powers in the form of original, appellate, and advisory jurisdiction and the power of constitutional review. Article 145 of the Constitution of India empowers the supreme court to make rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the court from time to time. These rules and regulations are made with the approval of the President and are subject to the law made by the Parliament. [1]

The Supreme Court RulesIn exercise of the powers conferred by the Article 145 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court framed the Supreme Court Rules, 1950. This rule was replaced by the Supreme Court Rules, 1966. In 2014, the Supreme Court notified the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 which replaced the 1966 rules. The Supreme Court Rules, 2013 regulates on practice and procedure of the Court and Office procedure on the judicial side. It has fifty-seven orders, four schedules, and regulations regarding Advocates-on-Record examination as well as rules to regulate proceedings of the contempt of the Supreme Court.

Why are cases classified?

The Supreme Court entertains petitions falling under its different jurisdictions. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court can be broadly classified into following categories:-Appellate JurisdictionExtraordinary Appellate JurisdictionOriginal JurisdictionExtraordinary Original JurisdictionAdvisory JurisdictionInherent and Plenary Jurisdiction[2]Petitions and cases filed under various jurisdictions are proceeded as per different orders and rules prescribed in the Supreme Court Rules 2013. Classification of cases helps in deciding the procedure to be followed as well as setting up the bench for the same. Classification of casesMain cases are ordinarily classified and abbreviated as follow:-[3]

Type of cases

  • Abbreviation
  • Relevant orders of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013
  • Arbitration Petitionfc***Civil AppealacOrder XIXContempt Petition (Civil)ccRule 3 of the Rules to Regulate Proceedings for Contempt of the Supreme Court, 1975
  • Contempt Petition (Criminal)rule 3 of the Rules to Regulate Proceedings for Contempt of the Supreme Court, 1975
  • Criminal AppealarOrder XX
  • Election PetitionecOrder XLVI
  • Original SuitocOrder XXV
  • Special Leave Petition (Civil)scOrder XXI
  • Special Leave Petition (Criminal)srOrder XXII
  • Special Reference CaselcOrder XLIV
  • Transferred Case (Civil)ncOrder XL
  • Transferred Case (Criminal)nrOrder XL
  • Transfer Petition (Civil)tcOrder XLI
  • Transfer Petition (Criminal)trader XXXIX
  • Tax Reference CasexcOrder XLV
  • Writ Petition (Civil)wcOrder XXXVIII
  • Writ Petition (Criminal)wrOrder XXXVIII
  • Review Petition (Civil)recorder XLVII
  • Review Petition (Criminal)rrOrder XLVII
  • Curative Petition (Civil)quarter XLVIII
  • Curative Petition (Criminal)qrOrder XLVIII***(Sec. 11(5) of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996)
  • Arbitration petition

    As per the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, the parties are free to agree on a procedure for appointing the arbitrator or arbitrators. In some cases, the parties fail to agree on the arbitrator within thirty days from receipt of a request by one party to the other party. In such cases, the appointment of the arbitrator is made by the Chief Justice or any person or institution designated by him upon the request of any party.[4] Such requests are made in form of arbitration petition. Civil appeal appeal lies to the Supreme Court from any judgment, decree or final order in a civil proceeding of a High Court, if the High Court certifies that:-the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution [5], or, the case involves a substantial question of law of general importance, and the opinion of the High Court the said question needs to be decided by the Supreme Court. [6]

    Upon grant of special leave to appeal under Art. 136 of the Constitution, appeal against a judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order of a High Court in a civil proceeding also falls under civil appeal. Criminal appeal appeal lies to the Supreme Court from any judgment, final order or sentence in a criminal proceeding of a High Court, if the High Court:-Certifies that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution [7], or, has on appeal reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death; or has withdrawn for trial before itself any case from any court subordinate to its authority and has in such trial convicted the accused person and sentenced him to death; or certifies that the case is a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court.[8]Upon grant of special leave to appeal under Art. 136 of the Constitution, appeal against a judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order of a High Court in a criminal proceeding also falls under criminal appeal. Special leave to appeal petitions for special leave to appeal may either be civil or criminal.

    These petitions are filed under Article 136 of the constitution from an order of the High Court on refusal to grant a certificate of fitness to appeal. Petitions for special leave to appeal can also be filed in any other case from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order passed or made by any Court or Tribunal, except relating to armed forces.[9]Contempt PetitionWilful disobedience to any judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or another process of a court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to a court means civil contempt.[10]Criminal contempt means the publication of any matter or the doing of any other act which—(i) scandalises or tends to scandalise, or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court; or(ii) prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with, the due course of any judicial proceeding; or(iii) interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner. Such publication may be in the form of spoken or written words, or signs, or visible representation.[11]

    All Contempt Petitions are registered under Rule 3 of the Rules to Regulate Proceedings for Contempt of the Supreme Court, 1975.[12]Election PetitionElection to the offices of the President and Vice President is regulated by the Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections Act, 1952. In case of doubts and disputes related to such elections, election petitions are filed in the Supreme Court.[13]Original suitThe Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in any dispute:-(a) between the Government of India and one or more States; or (b) between the Government of India and any State or States on one side and one or more other States on the other; or (c) between two or more States [14]A suit filed in such disputes is registered as an Original Suit. Reference A reference can be filed by the Central Government or by any statutory tribunal if the provisions of any Act enables them to make such reference. According to Article 143(1) of the Constitution, the President may refer a question of public importance to the Supreme Court for its opinion. To remove the Chairman or any other member of a Public Service Commission on the ground of misbehavior, the President has to make a reference to the Supreme Court to hold an inquiry.[15]Tribunals or quasi-judicial bodies set up under the Companies Act, 2013, the Competition Act, 2002, the Right to Information Act, 2005, the Income Tax Act, 1961, the Wealth Tax Act, 1957 and the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990 may also make a reference to the Supreme Court.[16] Transferred caseIn certain cases, the Supreme Court may withdraw the case or cases pending before one or more High Courts and dispose of all the cases itself. These are the cases involving the same or substantially the same questions of law pending before the Supreme Court and one or more High Courts or before two or more High Courts.

    The Supreme Court must be satisfied on its own motion or on an application made by the Attorney-General of India or by a party to any such case that such questions are substantial questions of general importance.[17] These cases are registered as transferred cases. The transfer petition the application of a party, the Supreme Court may order the transfer of any suit, appeal or other proceedings from a High Court or any other Civil Court of one State to the High Court or any other Civil Court of other State.[18] Such petition is registered as Transfer Petition (Civil). The Supreme Court may also direct the transfer of any particular criminal case or appeal:-(a)from one High Court to another High Court, or, (b)from a Criminal Court subordinate to one High Court to another Criminal Court of equal or superior jurisdiction subordinate to another High Court.[19]These transfers are done only on the application of Attorney General of India or of any interested party. [20] These applications are registered as Transfer Petition (Criminal).Petitions filed under Section 11 of the Terrorist Affected Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1984, are also registered as Transfer Petition (Criminal).[21]

    Tax reference caseIf the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal is of the opinion that, on account of a conflict in the decisions of High Courts in respect of any particular question of law, it can make a reference directly to the Supreme Court.[22] Such references are registered as Tax Reference Case.

    Writ Petition

    Writ petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution relating to:

    • an infringement of a fundamental right in a civil case, other than habeas corpus, are registered as Writ Petition (Civil);
    • a criminal matter, including habeas corpus, are registered as Writ Petition (Criminal);
    • public interest litigation is registered as Writ Petition (PIL). It may be either civil or criminal. [23]

    Review petition the Supreme Court has the power to review any judgment or order made by it. [24]The Court reviews its judgment on the application filed by the aggrieved party. Such applications are registered as a Review Petitions. It may be either civil or criminal. Curative petition to prevent the abuse of its process and to cure a gross miscarriage of justice, the Supreme Court may reconsider its judgment in the exercise of its inherent powers. Only when very strong reasons exist, the Supreme Court entertains an application seeking reconsideration of its order which has become final on the dismissal of the review petition.[25]

    Such an application is registered as a Curative Petition under Order XLVII of the Rules. It may be either civil or criminal.

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    Classification of cases entertained by the Supreme Court. (2018, October 08). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/classification-of-cases-entertained-by-the-supreme-court/
    “Classification of cases entertained by the Supreme Court.” GradesFixer, 08 Oct. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/classification-of-cases-entertained-by-the-supreme-court/
    Classification of cases entertained by the Supreme Court. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/classification-of-cases-entertained-by-the-supreme-court/> [Accessed 28 Nov. 2021].
    Classification of cases entertained by the Supreme Court [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Oct 08 [cited 2021 Nov 28]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/classification-of-cases-entertained-by-the-supreme-court/
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