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Report No. 45

Civil Appeals to The Supreme court on a Certificate of Fitness

1. Introductory.-

This Report deals with civil appeals to the Supreme Court on a certificate of fitness under Article 133(1)(c) of the Constitution. The scope and genesis of this Report should be first explained.

The Government of India had under consideration the question of limiting or restricting the right of appeal to the Supreme Court. The previous Law Commission was requested to examine whether it is at all rational to base the right of appeal on the value of the property to which the litigation relates. This question was examined by the Law Commission in its Report on the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in civil matters.1

After due consideration and after considering the views of all High Courts, Bar Associations and State Governments in the country, the Law Commission came to the conclusion that in civil proceedings in the High Court an appeal should be permitted to the Supreme Court only if the High Court considers the case fit for appeal, keeping intact, of course, the discretion of the Supreme Court to grant special leave to appeal under Article 136. The Law Commission, therefore, recommended the deletion of clauses (a) and (b) of Article 133(1) of the Constitution, and recommended amendment of Article 133(1) so as to limit it to cases where the High Court certifies that the case is a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court.

This Report of the Law Commission was submitted on the 30th of August, 1971. On the reconstitution of the Law Commission, Government have requested the Commission to examine the matter further. To quote from the letter of the Minister of Law and Justice,2 "Before the Government takes a decision on the said recommendation made by the Law Commission the Government of India would like to have the views of the new Law Commission reconstituted under your Chairmanship. I have therefore to request you to give the view of the Law Commission on the said question as regards suitable amending Article 133 of the Constitution so as to abolish the basis of valuation as conferring a right of appeal on a litigant.

It may not be necessary for the Law Commission to investigate the matter again in detail as the earlier Law Commission had already fully considered the matter. On the material that was before the said Commission the Government of India would like to know whether the reconstituted Law Commission concurs in the conclusions and the recommendations made by the Law Commission in its 44th Report dated the 30th August, 1971 or whether the Law Commission has any further useful suggestions to make." It is in pursuance of this request that this Report is being made.

1. 44th Report of the Law Commission of India.

2. Letter of the Minister of Law and Justice to the Chairman, Law Commission dated 4th October, 1971.

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