Appellate Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court

Appellate jurisdiction of the supreme court

The supreme court of India has the original jurisdiction, advisory jurisdiction and appellate Jurisdiction. The original jurisdiction of the SC used in the case between:

  • Government of India and one or more States of India
  • State(s) Vs State(s)

if there is any dispute involving any question of law in which, the existence of the legal rights depends upon the judgment, Article 32 of the constitution of India provides the original jurisdiction to the supreme court for the enforcement of fundamental rights in India. The supreme court can enforce its judgement by various writs given under article 32 of the Indian constitution

Appellate jurisdiction of the supreme court

Appellate jurisdiction of the court is the power given to the Higher Court to review, amend or overrule the decisions given by lower courts. There are many classes of criminal courts and civil courts. The higher authority has the power to review the judgement of lower courts in both criminal and civil cases. 

In simple words, the appellate jurisdiction is the power given by the higher court to take the appeal in the cases in which the lower courts have passed the judgement, decree, punishment. 

The Supreme Court of India has taken its appellate jurisdiction under articles 132 (1), 133(1) and Article 134 of the constitution of India. As per Article 132 of the Indian constitution 1949, the Supreme Court of India has the appellate jurisdiction to take appeals in any judgement, decree or final order passed by the high court. The SC can take appeals in any civil cases in which:

  • The case is involving a substantial question of law
  • If the High Court certified that the said case needs to be decided by the SC

The SC has the appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases also and it can take the appeal in a criminal case in which:

  • The High court has reversed the order of acquittal passed by the lower court and sentenced him to life imprisonment or death or punishment for mot less than 10 years. 
  • High court has withdrawn the accused person from the trial who was convicted by lower court and passed the sentence of life imprisonment or death or punishment not less than 10 years.
  • If the high court certified that the criminal case is fit fpr appeal to the supreme court. 

These are some conditions for civil and criminal cases in which the SC can use its appellate jurisdiction. The parliament of India is also authorised to confirm the supreme court any further powers to entertain and hear the appeals from any judgement sentence for final order passed by High Courts in a criminal proceeding.

Article 136 of the constitution also provides the supreme court with a wide appellate jurisdiction in which the supreme court can grant special leave to appeal from any decree, judgement or sentence passed by any Court or tribunal situated in the territory of India.

Standard of review

Under the standard of review, the appellate court decides the extent of the difference between decisions. The appellate court provided full clarification that whether the appeal was one of the facts in the case or related to law. 

In a case that is related to facts, the lower court already has to check the oral and documentary evidence related to the case, necessary facts of the case and also check the authenticity of witnesses. Now, when the case comes to the appellate court, it is the discretionary power of the appellate court that it can look for clear errors in the case or start the trial again. 

In a case that is related to law, the appellate court may reverse or modify the decision of the lower court if the appellate court believes that the lower Court has misapplied the law. 

The appellate court has also the power to review the discretionary decisions of lower judges. It may check whether the judge properly granted a new trial or disallowed any evidence in the case. The appellate court can only change the decision of the lower court if there is an abuse of discretion. In simple words, the court cannot give the decision in any case in which the court does not have jurisdiction. 

FAQ related to appellate jurisdiction

What is the Appellate Court?

A court that has the power to take appeals in civil or criminal cases is called appellate court.

What is Appellate jurisdiction? 

It is the power of the court to receive appeals in criminal or civil cases which are decided by the lower courts. The appellate court has the power to review the case and it may also overrule the decision of lower courts. 

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