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Different considerations apply when a special leave petition under Article 136 of the Constitution is dismissed by simply saying ‘dismissed’ and an appeal provided under Article 133 is dismissed also with the words ‘the appeal is dismissed’.

This article strives to provide the clarity on difference between the two phrases used by Hon. Apex Court while pronouncing its rulings.

1. “SLP DISMISSED” (Article 136 of the Constitution)A Special Leave Petition is filed before the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution with a prayer that permission/leave to appeal before it be granted as there is a substantial question of law of public or general importance in the matter.

That when ‘special leave petition is dismissed’ Hon. Apex Court has not commented on the correctness or otherwise of the order from which leave to appeal is sought.

But what the court means is that it does not consider it to be a fit case for exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution. The doctrine of merger does not apply in the case of dismissal of special leave petition

It is well-settled that the dismissal of an SLP against an order or judgment of a lower forum is not an affirmation of the same and it cannot be held as Law Laid down by the Supreme Court which is binding on the all the lower courts and authorities.

2. “APPEAL IS DISMISSED” (Article 133 of the Constitution)In this case, the Hon. Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the High Court or of the Tribunal against which the appeal was provided.

That when an appeal is dismissed through a non-speaking order, here the doctrine of merger comes into play and  the order of the High Court is merged with that of the Supreme Court and such order is binding on all the lower Courts and authorities operating across the Country.

3. This view is fortified by the order of Hon. Supreme Court in the case of V.M. Salgaocar & Bros. Pvt. Ltd vs. CIT CIVIL APPEAL 657 of 1994 order dated 10.04.2000.

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May 2024