Supreme Court Rules that Trappings of Finality is a Mandatory Criteria for Entertaining Letters Patent Appeal

Supreme Court Law Insider

Tanvi Pilane

Published on: March 15, 2022 at 22:16 IST

A Supreme Court Bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai ruled that a Letters Patent Appeal cannot be heard against Orders that Lack the Trappings of Finality, after hearing an Appeal against the Order of Calcutta High Court.

The Bench held a Single Judge’s Order cannot be treated as a ‘Judgment’ under Clause 15 of the Calcutta High Court’s Letters Patent.

A Letters Patent Appeal was allowed by the Division Bench of Calcutta High Court against a Single Judge order that only directed the Defendants to File an Affidavit in ­opposition and postponed the hearing of the Application for an Injunction in a Suit for Infringement of Trade.

It was argued before the Supreme Court by the Appellants that within the meaning of Clause 15 of the Letters Patent of the High Court, an order passed by the Single Judge could not be Construed as a ‘Judgment’ and hence the Appeal was not Maintainable.

The Respondents contended that the Appeal was Maintainable was a Vital and valuable Right of the Respondents had been Infringed because the Single Judge’s Refusal to grant an Ad ­Interim.

The decision in Shah Babulal Khimji Vs. Jayaben D. Kania and Ors. (1981) 4 SCC 8 was relied upon by both parties.

The Bench also Observed that the Contested Order only resulted in a three-week postponement of the question of whether the Respondent was entitled to an Ad Interim Injunction.

The Division Bench of the High Court was also criticized by the Court for deciding the interlocutory application itself rather than referring it to the Court below.

The Bench hence directed the High Court’s Single Bench to decide the Application within six weeks and Ordered a cost of Rs. 5,00,000 Lakh to be paid by the Respondent to the Supreme Court Middle Income Group Legal Aid Society (MIG).

Also read:

Letters Patent Appeal

Grounds for Appeal in High Court

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