Discuss the scope, issues and limitations of discretionary jurisdiction vested in Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution of India.

The residuary power outside the ordinary law relating to appeal is conferred upon the Supreme Court by article136 which provides for Special Leave Petition.
Under Article 136 of the Constitution of India the Supreme Court shall have the power to grant special leave to appeal in the following cases-
a) From any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order,
b) In any cause or matter
c) Passed or made by any Court or Tribunal, in the territory of India.
This provision is a “discretionary power” vested in the Supreme Court of India.
However, the aggrieved party cannot claim special leave to appeal under Article 136 as a right. It is only a privilege vested in the Supreme Court of India to grant leave to appeal or not.
The limitation about this provision is that it is not mentioned in Article 136 of the Constitution as to in what kind of cases the said discretion should be exercised.
Therefore, broad guidelines must be laid out by the Supreme Court with respect the SLP or else the Court will be flooded with all kind of special leave petitions even frivolous ones and the arrears in this Court will keep mounting and a time will come when the functioning of this Court will become impossible.
Another limitation is that Article 136 is a discretionary remedy, and therefore the Court is not bound to interfere even if there is an error of law or fact in the impugned order.
The major issue revolving around this provision is that, it is a discretionary power of the Supreme Court. Therefore, it is not compelled to interfere in all situations. This would prove to be good especially in situations which require alarming interference.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Discuss the scope, issues and limitations of discretionary jurisdiction vested in Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution of India.

Published: January 4, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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