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Bench: Das, Sudhi Ranjan (Cj), Bhagwati, Natwarlal H., Aiyyar, T.L. Venkatarama, Sinha, Bhuvneshwar P., Das, S.K.

  • Citation: 1957 AIR 540, 1957 SCR 488


Petition for special leave to appeal, whether Petition under Article 136 of the Constitution for special leave to appeal from the judgment and decree dated March 4, 1955, of the Andhra High Court be granted or not?


1. This is an application for special leave to appeal from the judgment passed on February 10, 1955 by the High Court of Andhra.

2. The suit out of which this application arises was instituted on April 22, 1949, in the sub-court of Bapatla, which was then within the jurisdiction of the Madras High Court.

3. The judgment of the trial court was passed on November 14, 1950, dismissing the suit.

4. On October 1, 1953, the Andhra State was formed and a new High Court was established under a. 28 of The Andhra State Act, 1953 and apparently the appeal stood transferred to the High Court of Andhra under the provisions of s. 38 of the same Act.

5. On March 4, 1955, the High Court of Andhra accepted the appeal, reversed the decree of the trial court and decreed the suit.

6. The application for leave to appeal to this Court was dismissed on the ground, that the value of the property was only Rs. 11,400 and did not come up to the amount of Rs. 20,000.

7. In this application the petitioner contends that the judgment being one of reversal and the value being above Rs. 10,000, he was entitled, as a matter of right, to come up to this Court on appeal.

8. Since the right has been denied to him by the High Court, this Court should, in exercise of its discretion, grant him special leave to appeal to this Court under Art. 136 of the Constitution

Appellant Contention

The appellant pleaded that the suit out of which the present petition arises was filed on April 22, 1949. The petitioner contented that as from the date of the institution of the suit he acquired a vested right to appeal to the Federal Court which has since then been replaced by the Supreme Court.

He argued that when the Indian Independence Act, 1947 was passed by Parliament it became necessary to enlarge the jurisdiction of the Federal Court to enable the Federal Court to entertain appeals which previously went to His Majesty in Council. The Act provided that as from the appointed day, i.e., from February 1, 1948, an appeal would lie to the Federal Court from any judgment to which the Act applied.

Respondent Contention

The respondent contented that Article 135 of the Constitution could have no application to such a case, as Art. 133 applied and there was no vested right to appeal to the Federal Court in relation to which jurisdiction was exercisable by that Court immediately before the commencement of the Constitution. The application for special leave must, therefore, be refused.

Final Decision

In accordance with the opinion of the majority of the Courts, Special Leave to Appeal to this Court was granted on usual terms. In its judgement the court stated that the correct interpretation to be put on Art. 133 is that it applies to all appeals against judgments, decrees and -final orders of- the High Courts in the territory of India made after the commencement of the Constitution in civil proceedings, irrespective of whether those proceedings were instituted before or after the Constitution. Such an interpretation would furnish a simple, clear and uniform law for the whole of India.

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