“The safety of the people shall be the highest law” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Ship Arrest Warrantied. Maritime Lawyers on Ship Arrest in Spain - GMM Law | Maritime Class Net

India has a long-standing history in dealing with the sea and has had a distinguished tradition for several years with trade and commerce, both within the region and beyond its territorial borders. India’s maritime history dates back to the 3rd millennium BCE, and since then many ships have sailed from India and, to India. Therefore, though there was no codified law as the one which exists today, the customs and regulations concerning sea and maritime activities have been in existence since time immemorial.

This article analyses the Maritime Law of India and the Law relating to ship arrests, including the jurisdiction, permissible claims and procedural aspects of ship arrests in India.

Before Independence, the laws relating to maritime laws in India were governed under the British government. The Coasting Vessels Act, 1838, Inland Steam Vessels Act, 1917, Admiralty Offences (Colonial) Act, 1849, Indian Registration of Ships Act, 1841, Indian Ports Act, 1908, Control of Shipping Act, 1947 are some of the regulations which deal with various aspects of maritime in India.


In simple words, Maritime Law is a set of rules and regulations which govern the matters relating to sea and ships. It is also known as admiralty law. Numerous legal luminaries have provided their definition of the term ‘maritime law.’ Some of them are as follows:

Professor Grant Gilmore and Charles L. Black, in their ‘Law of Admiralty’, define maritime or Admiralty Law as the following:

”A corpus of rules, concepts and legal practices governing certain centrally important concerns of the business of carrying goods and passengers by water.”

Black’s Law dictionary defines maritime Law as- “the body of law governing marine commerce and navigation, the carriage at of persons and property, and marine affairs in general; the rules governing contract, tort and workers’ compensation claims or relating to commerce on or over water.”

The definitions, given above covers a wide range of activities concerning the sea, however now with the evolution of Law, the Maritime Law is comprehensive, and it is that branch of jurisprudence which covers all the matters relating to sea and ships.


Ship arrest is a process in which a ship is prevented from trading or moving until the matter in question is decided. It is an exclusive jurisdiction that is granted to an admiralty court to detain a vessel to secure a maritime claim.

Article 2 of the International Convention Relating to the Arrest of Sea-Going Ships, 1952 defines the term arrest as the following:

“(2) “Arrest” means the detention of a ship by judicial process to secure a maritime claim, but does not include the seizure of a ship in execution or satisfaction of a judgment.”

The main purpose of arrest is to obtain security for satisfaction of judgment in the action in rem and it is necessary to arrest the ship in order to establish jurisdiction. Merchant ships of different nationalities travel from port to port carrying goods or passengers. They incur liabilities in the course of their voyage and they subject themselves to the jurisdiction of foreign States when they enter the waters of those States. They are liable to be arrested for the enforcement of maritime claims, or seized in execution or satisfaction of judgments in legal actions arising out of collisions; salvage, loss of life or personal injury, loss of or damage to goods and the like. They are liable to be detained or confiscated by the authorities of foreign States for violating their customs, regulations, safety measures, rules of the road, health regulations, and for other causes. The coastal State may exercise its criminal jurisdiction on board the vessel for the purpose of arrest or investigation in connection with certain serious crimes. In the course of an international voyage, a vessel thus subjects itself to the public and private laws of various countries. A ship travelling from port to port stays very briefly in any one port. A plaintiff seeking to enforce his maritime claim against a foreign ship has no effective remedy once it has sailed away and if the foreign owner has neither property nor residence within jurisdiction. The plaintiff may therefore detain the ship by obtaining an order of attachment whenever it is feared that the ship is likely to slip out of jurisdiction, thus leaving the plaintiff without any security.


A ship arrest may be exercised under the authority of a court having admiralty jurisdiction, for the following reasons:

  1. Loss of life
  2. Loss of property
  3. Salvage
  4. Collision
  5. Execution of a decree
  6. Violation of customs, usages, regulations or norms


Before India gained Independence, under The Colonial Court of Admiralty Act, 1890, the High Court of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta were the only judicial authorities competent to deal with matters relating to Admiralty. The other courts of justice were restricted from dealing with issues concerning the Admiralty. Under the Admiralty Courts Act, 1861, the three presidency courts were vested with the same powers as that of the High Court of England.

Section 35 of the Admiralty Courts Act, 1861 deals with the jurisdiction of Admiralty court, and it reads as the following:

“35. The jurisdiction conferred by this Act on the High Court of Admiralty may be exercised either by proceedings in rem or by proceedings in personam.”

The Law relating to Admiralty jurisdiction is relevant even today under Article 372 of the Constitution of India.

Therefore, in M.V. Elisabeth vs Harwan Investment and Trading, 1993 AIR SC 1014, the question was whether a court having no admiralty jurisdiction could entertain a case relating to Admiralty. The Supreme Court, in this case, widened the scope of admiralty jurisdiction in India.

The Court held

“Although statutes now control the field, much of the admiralty law is rooted in judicial decisions and influenced by the impact of Civil Law, Common Law, and equity. The ancient maritime codes like the Rhodian Sea Law, the Basilika, the Assizes of Jerusalem, the Rolls of Oleron, the Laws of Visby, the Hanseatic Code, the Black Book of the British Admiralty, Consolato del Mare, and others are, apart from statute, some of the sources from which the Law developed in England. Any attempt to confine Admiralty or maritime Law within the bounds of statutes is not only unrealistic but incorrect.”


“The High Courts in India are superior courts of record. They have original and appellate jurisdiction. They have inherent and plenary powers. Unless expressly or impliedly barred, and subject to the appellate or discretionary jurisdiction of this Court, the High Courts have unlimited jurisdiction, including the jurisdiction to determine their powers.”

Further, in this case, the International Convention for the unification of some rules regarding Arrest of Sea-going Ships (The Arrest Convention), 1952 was also made applicable to India, although it was not ratified.

Similarly, In the M.V Sea Success case, the Supreme Court held that the principles laid down in 1999 Geneva Arrest Convention could be applied in India on matters concerning Admiralty.

In India, The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017 was enacted on 9 August 2017 to consolidate the laws relating to Admiralty. The Act implemented, repeals all the outdated provisions relating to Admiralty.

As per Section 3 of the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017, the jurisdiction concerning admiralty matters shall be vested in the respective High Courts, and the courts shall exercise their authority within the territorial waters of their jurisdiction.

Therefore, now the scope of admiralty jurisdiction has been widened, and apart from the presidency courts, the following courts (coastal regions) have jurisdiction to deal with admiralty matters:

  1. High Court of Gujarat
  2. High Court of Andhra Pradesh
  3. High Court of Orissa
  4. High Court of Kerala


The High Courts’ as discussed earlier, has the jurisdiction to entertain claims as provided under Article 1 of the Arrest Convention, 1952 and Article 1 of the Geneva Arrest Convention, 1999. Therefore, before the enactment of the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017, the claims were as provided under the conventions as discussed earlier. However, now the Law relating to Maritime claim is provided under section 4 of the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017.

Section 4 of the Act reads as the following:

“The High Court may exercise jurisdiction to hear and determine any question on a maritime claim, against any vessel, arising out of any

  • a dispute regarding the possession or ownership of a vessel or the ownership of any share therein
  • dispute between the co-owners of a vessel as to the employment or earnings of the vessel
  • mortgage or a charge of the same nature on a vessel;
  • loss or damage caused by the operation of a vessel
  • loss of life or personal injury occurring whether on land or on water, in direct connection with the operation of a vessel
  • loss or damage to or in connection with any goods
  • agreement relating to the carriage of goods or passengers on board a vessel, whether contained in a charter party or otherwise
  • salvage services, including, if applicable, special compensation relating to salvage services in respect of a vessel which by itself or its cargo threatens damage to the environment
  • Pilotage
  • goods, materials, perishable or non-perishable provisions, bunker fuel, equipment (including containers), supplied or services rendered to the vessel for its operation, management, preservation or maintenance including any fee payable or leviable;
  • construction, reconstruction, repair, converting or equipping of the vessel;
  • dues in connection with any port, harbour, canal, dock or light tolls, other tolls, waterway or any charges of similar kind chargeable under any law for the time being in force
  • claim by a master or member of the crew of a vessel or their heirs and dependents for wages or any sum due out of wages or adjudged to be due which may be recoverable as wages or cost of repatriation or social insurance contribution payable on their behalf or any amount an employer is under an obligation to pay to a person as an employee, whether the obligation arose out of a contract of employment or by operation of a law (including operation of a law of any country) for the time being in force, and includes any claim arising under a manning and crew agreement relating to a vessel, notwithstanding anything contained in the provisions of sections 150 and 151 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (44 of 1958)
  • disbursements incurred on behalf of the vessel or iparticular average or general average
  • dispute arising out of a contract for the sale of the vessel
  • insurance premium (including mutual insurance calls) in respect of the vessel, payable by or on behalf of the vessel owners or demise charterers
  • commission, brokerage or agency fees payable in respect of the vessel by or on behalf of the vessel owner or demise charterer
  • damage or threat of damage caused by the vessel to the environment, coastline or relate interests; measures taken to prevent, minimize, or remove such damage; compensation for such damage; costs of reasonable measures for the restoration of the environment actually undertaken or to be undertaken; loss incurred or likely to be incurred by third parties in connection with such damage; or any other damage, costs, or loss of a similar nature to those identified in this clause
  • costs or expenses relating to raising, removal, recovery, destruction or the rendering harmless of a vessel which is sunk, wrecked, stranded or abandoned, including anything that is or has been on board such vessel, and costs or expenses relating to the preservation of an abandoned vessel and maintenance of its crew; and
  • maritime lie


The Law relating to the arrest of a vessel in rem is provided under Section 5 of the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017.

Under the section, the High Court may order for the arrest of any vessel within its jurisdiction, where there is a reason to believe:

  • The owner of the vessel is liable for the claim, or
  • The demise charterer of the vessel is liable for the claim, or
  • The claim is based on a mortgage or similar charge, or
  • The claim relates to possession or ownership, or
  • The claim is against the owner, demise charterer, manager or operator of the vessel.

Once the claim has been decided, the claimant has to state the detailed facts, along with the other particulars and must make an application for the substantive suit. The Admiralty suit should specify:

  • The name of the claimant
  • The name of the vessel
  • Flag of the Vessel
  • Details of the owner of the ship
  • Facts relating to the dispute
  • Grounds and
  • Prayer

Once an arrest warrant is issued upon a vessel, the owner of the vessel has to appear and settle the claim or challenge the arrest made. The vessel may be allowed to sail subject to furnishing of security for the claim. At the default of the owner, the ship can be sold, and the sale proceeds may be used to settle the claim.

Therefore, the Law relating to ship arrest is now well settled in India. The admiralty law is an area of development, and it plays an inevitable role in protecting the citizens as well as ensuring that no organization or individual violates the Law of the sea.


Therefore, the Law relating to ship arrest is now well settled in India. The admiralty law is an area of development, and it plays an inevitable role in protecting the citizens as well as ensuring that no organization or individual violates the Law of the sea.

Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 1998 & 2016: A Comparative Study

Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 1998 & 2016: A Comparative Study


The study here tries to throw a light on the various aspects of the Bio-Medical waste Rules that has changed/amended from Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 1998 to Bio Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016. The Amendments/changes that has been done by the Government in the Bio Medical Waste management rules,2016 are for the better disposal of Bio-Medical Waste, through which the society can be a better place to live in.

Bio Medical Waste Management Rule, 2016

Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 1998 & 2016 Comparative Analysis

Bio-Medical Waste:

Bio-medical waste is a waste which is generated during diagnosis or treatment of people or animals. This includes all the people and institutes which generate, store, collect, transport, treat, any forms of Bio-Medical Waste. There are many types of Bio-Medical wastes out which some are easy to treat and not harmful or contagious, and the other is very harmful as it can spread highly contagious diseases to the present and the future generation as well. This kind of waste can even be threat to the environment too as it can cause air, water, and soil pollution.

Many studies have stated that health care workers have very less or no knowledge about the disposal of Bio-Medical Waste which can be harmful and may seriously affect the environment. Due to the same reason, there is an increase in the awareness about the Bio-Medical Waste segregation and disposal. In our country there is a very much need of the awareness and knowledge about the same as many reports suggest that there is a lacunae in the practices among the many Health Care Workers. The Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules has been amended several times, but there is a lack of update among Healthcare workers and institutions.

Harmful Effects of Poorly Managed Biomedical Waste:

Biomedical waste when not disposed properly can pose serious risks to society and the environment through air emissions, contamination of water and physical contact.

Improper disposal refers to open dumping, unrestrained burning, and improper handling of waste during generation, collection, storage, transport and treatment.

Improper handling involves unsafe procedures followed during handling of wastes i.e. without wearing protective equipment, poor storage (high temp, high residence), transporting manually for longer distances, uncovered or unpacked containers instead of puncture proof bags, etc. all of which effect hospital workers in different ways.

The following groups are exposed:

Inside Health Care Centers: 

staff- doctors, nurses, auxiliaries, stretcher bearers, patients, scientific and technical personnel, housekeeping staff, laundry, waste managers, maintenance, and lab technicians.


In site and off site transport personnel, waste processing personnel, public, and rag pickers. Improper management of wastewater and sludge can result in contamination of air, soil and water with pathogens and toxic chemicals which may affect all forms of life. Inadequate waste management can cause environmental pollution, unpleasant odors, growth and multiplication of insects, rodents and worms and may lead to transmission of diseases like typhoid, cholera, etc. Infectious agents such as faeces, vomit, saliva, secretions, blood can cause serious health risks on individuals by affecting organs or systems like gastrointestinal, respiratory, eye, skin and cause Anthrax, Meningitis, AIDS, Haemorrhagic Fever, Hepatitis A, B, C, Influenza etc. Research and radio-immunoassay activities may generate small quantities of radioactive gases.

Infections Associated with Different Types of Waste:

OrganismDisease CausedRelated waste

HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, C, Arboviruses, Enteroviruses

AIDS, Infectious Hepatitis, Dengue, Japanese encephalitis, tick-borne, fevers, meningitis, etc.Infected needles, body fluids, Human excreta, soiled linen, blood

Salmonella typhi, vibrio cholera, clostridium Tetani, Pseudomonas, Streptococcus

Typhoid, Cholera, Tetanus, Wound Infections, Septicaemia, Rheumatic fever, endocarditis, skin and soft tissue infections, meningitis, bacteraemiaHuman excreta and body fluids in landfills and hospital wards, sharps such as needles, surgical blades in hospital waste 

Wucheraria Bancrofti, Plasmodium

Cutaenous leishmaniosis, Kala Azar, MalariaHuman excreta, blood and body fluids in poorly managed sewage system of hospitals


Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules:

Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules were implemented under Environment Protection Act,1986 in our country on 20th July,1998. After that the Rules have undergone many amendments in the passing years. Bio-Medical waste Rules,2016 is the latest Bio-Medical Rules after significant and many changes done to Bio-Medical Rules,1998 keeping in mind the health care of the people. Primarily this waste was divided among various categories. Further multiple categories were clubbed to disposed in four colour coded bags. This was very hard to be remembered by the housekeeping and healthworker staff which formed a very weak section in the Bio Medical Waste Management system. It was found that the Bio-Medical waste generators had their own waste disposal techniques and systems which were not very effective or required significant improvement as they posed a threat to the public as well as the environment.

To undertake all these issues the new Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules were laid down by the ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 on 28th March, 2016.

Difference between Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 1998 and 2016:

The major changes are as follows: (1) the removal of multiple categories and to continue with only four color-codes (2) that no occupier was permitted to establish an on-site treatment and disposal facility if service of a common biomedical waste treatment facility (CBMWTF) is available within a distance of 75 km, and (3) changes in the form numbers of accident reporting, authorization, annual reporting, and appeal. The difference between Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 1998 and 2016 has been discussed by dividing it into various points and showing the difference between them.

Duties of the Occupier:

Duties of the occupier are delineated better as it wasn’t delineated in 1998. There is pretreatment by disinfection and sterilization on-site of infectious lab waste blood bags as per the WHO guidelines Occupier ensures liquid waste is segregated at source by pretreatment,  whereas, No pretreatment of waste on-site Chlorinated plastic bags, gloves, and blood bags were recommended. ETP is mandatory Occupier ensures to maintain BMWM register daily and on website monthly Annual report should be made available on the website within two years The occupier (30 bedded) establishes BMWM committee Records of equipment, training, health checkup, and immunization are compulsory whereas any of the above were not mandatory in the Biomedical waste management rules, 1998.

Duties of the CBMWTF:

Duties are delineated better The occupier has to establish barcoding and GPS and ensure occupational safety of all its HCWs by TT and HBV vaccination Reporting of accidents and maintenance of records of equipment, training, and health checkup, whereas, in BMWM Rules, 1998 Duties are not delineated, better Barcoding and GPS not documented and vaccinations for HCWs not documented, Records not documented.

Accident Reporting:

Major accidents are reported to authorities and in annual report whereas, No specific reporting of accidents were mandated in BMWM Rules,1998.

Deep Burial:

As per rules 2016, Deep Burial is an option for only remote and rural areas and not in towns and villages with less than 5 lakhs population.

Chemical Treatment:

Changes to chemical treatment from 1% hypochlorite to 10% hypochlorite in 2016 which was again rolled back to 1%-2% in 2018.


No demarcation of foetus was mentioned in BMWM rules 1998 but the new amendment of rules in 2016 said Foetus younger than the age of viability is to be treated as human anatomical waste.


Antibiotics and other drugs and solid chemical waste suggested for incineration Cytotoxic drugs: return back to supplier and incineration up to 1200 C whereas, the rules, 1998 mentioned that all the drugs to be discarded in the black bag for cytotoxic drugs, destruction and drugs disposal in secured landfills

Liquid-infected waste:

Effluent treatment plant is mandatory, and effluent to conform to standards mentioned whereas rules, 1998 states chemical treatment and discharge into drains to conform to effluent standards mentioned.

Microbiology and biotechnology waste:

Rules, 2016 states the Pre-treatment of infectious waste as per the WHO guidelines whereas pre-treatment was not at all mandatory in rules, 1998.

Infected plastics, sharps and glass:

The infected plastics and sharps go in the red bag and the white container, respectively, and are sent to authorized recyclers. The glass articles are discarded in a cardboard box with blue marking whereas, infected plastics, metal sharps, and glass go in the blue container with disinfectant, and local autoclaving/microwaving/incineration is recommended.


A focus on recycling of plastic, sharps, and glass to authorized recyclers whereas, no such mention in rules, 1998.

Form I:

Changed to accident reporting from application for authorization.


Changed to Authorization or renewal of Authorization from Annual Report in rules, 1998.


Changed to Authorization for opening a facility for collectin, reception, treatment, storage, transport, and disposal of BMW from Accident Reporting in BMW Rules in 1998.


Changed to Annual Report from Authorization for operating a facility for collection, reception, treatment, storage, transport, and disposal of BMW.


Changed to Application for filing appeal against order passed by the prescribed authority from Application for filing appeal against order passed by the prescribed authority in rules 1998.


Further, after publishing Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change made some amendments and published Biomedical Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018 on 16th March, 2018. In this amendment, typographical errors were corrected, rules regarding non-infectious wastes were updated.

Gujarat High Court Telegram Channel for High Court Advocates, Litigants & other stake holders

High Court of Gujarat, starts its own Telegram Channel

To make it more convenient for high court advocates, litigants & other stake holders, High Court of Gujarat has started its official Telegram Channel.

Gujarat High Court Telegram Channel for High Court Advocates, Litigants & other stake holders

Gujarat High Court Telegram Channel for High Court Advocates, Litigants & other stake holders

In its official press release, they mention that “Updates like Daily Notices, Circulars, Press Releases, Youtube Live Streaming Links, Complete Causelists, Miscellaneous, Notifications and other important updates being uploaded on the website of the High Court will also be simultaneously shared on this Telegram Channel, starting from 1st March, 2021”


You can join the Gujarat High Court telegram channel here : High Court of Gujarat Telegram Channel

Also Read: Gujarat High Court had recently started live streaming of proceedings on its youtube channel


Bhatt & Joshi Associates, High Court Lawyers, High Court Advocates - Quashing Lawyers

Legal provisions for Quashing of FIR, High Court

Background of legal provisions for Quashing of FIR, by High Court Advocate

The legal term quash has been derived from the Anglo- French word casser meaning “to annul” and ultimately from Latin cassus, meaning void. The court has the power to quash unreasonable or irregular or oppressive subpoenas, injections, indictments and orders. When a judge is unable to deliver a judgement in a criminal matter case, in vague of a defective indictment, the courts typically quash the indictment. 

Under section 482 of the Code of criminal Procedure the power of quashing is defined. The section reads as:

482. Saving the inherent powers of the High Court. 

Nothing in this Code shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.

This section closely resembles section 151 of the Code of Civil procedure. In a case of CBI v. Maninder Singh, it was held that the power under section 482 of CrPC must be used very sparingly  and especially in economic offences, merely because the party had reached a settlement with the bank cannot be a ground for quashing criminal proceedings. But this section doesn’t enhance the power of the High Court. Rather protects the inherent powers of the court. It does not give any new powers. The jurisdiction of the High court has a vast scope, but it is the practice that this section should be used only in exceptional cases. 

The Supreme Court has laid down some principles which would help to govern the inherent jurisdiction of the court given under the section are as follows: 

  1. the power is not to be resorted to if there is a specific provision in the code for the redress of the grievance of the aggrieved party; 
  2. it should be exercised very sparingly to prevent abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice; 
  3. it should not be exercised as against the express bar of the law engrafted in any other provision of the code. Whenever the court has inherent power, the court does not function as a court of appeal or revision. 

Inherent powers cannot be exercised to review judgement. 

In a case N Naveen Kumar v. State of AP, the accused was convicted in this case for bribery. Some of his property was directed to be sold by auction. That was in addition to the sentence of imprisonment and fine. An appeal against this was dismissed. An application was made by the legal heirs of the accused for permission to deposit certain sums in lieu of auction sale of property. This was held to be not tenable before the Appellate Court. The bar under section 397(2) of the code is applicable to the revisional powers only not to inherent powers. Even under section 341 of the code, the inherent power overrides the express bar against revision.

Under what circumstances the powers of Quashing are exercised by the High Court 

Inherent power under Section 482 in a matter of quashing of FIR has to be exercised sparingly and with caution and when and only when such exercise is justified by the test specifically laid down in the provision itself. The power under section 482 is very wide and conferment of wide power requires the court to be more cautious. It casts an onerous and more diligent duty on the court and the said power is not to be used to choke or smother a legitimate prosecution. 

The high court can quash an FIR or a complaint in exercise of its powers under article 26 of the Constitution of India or under section 482 CrPC:

  1. Where the allegations made in the FIR or the complaint, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety, do not prima facie constitute any offence or make out a case against the accused.
  2. Where the allegations in the FIR and other materials accompanying FIR do not disclose a cognizable offence justifying an investigation under section 156(1) of CrPC except an order of a magistrate under section 155(2) CrPC.
  3. Where uncontroverted allegations in the FIR or the complaint and the evidence collected in support do not disclose the commission of any offence and make out a case against the accused.
  4. Where the allegations made in the FIR do not constitute a cognizable offence but constitute only a non-cognizable offence.
  5. Where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which no prudent person can ever reach a just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused.
  6. Where there is an express legal bar engrafted in the CrPC or the concerned act to the institution of criminal proceeding or where there is a specific provision in the CrPC or concerned act providing efficacious redress.
  7. Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide or where proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge.

The Supreme Court also has settled that the High Court should not entertain writ petitions under Article 226 and 227 and petitions unde section 482 for granting or rejecting request for bail which is the function of lower court. The High Court’s power under section 482 is not affected by the provision in section 497(3). The Supreme Court said:

Even if it is an interlocutory order, the High court’s inherent jurisdiction under section 482 is not affected by the provisions of section 497(3) CrPC. That The High Court may refuse to exercise its jurisdiction under section 482 on the basis of self-imposed restriction is a different aspect. It cannot be denied that for securing the ends of justice, the High court can interfere with the order which causes miscarriage of justice or is palpably illegal or is unjustified.

Need help with Quashing and FIR?  Reach out to us now

Appeals before the High Court

Appeals before the High Court:

The High Court has appellate jurisdiction over both civil and criminal cases. There is a hierarchy of Civil and Criminal Courts in every state subordinate to their respective High Courts to administer civil and criminal law disputes.  It can hear appeal on civil cases tried by the Courts of Munsifs and District Judges. In criminal cases, the jurisdiction extends to cases tried by the Sessions and Additional Sessions Judges. The Courts in hierarchy below to High Courts are called as Trial Courts. Appeals before the High Court

Appeals before the High Court

In what cases an Appeal lies before the High Court?

Right of appeal is a creature of the statute and it is for the legislature to decide whether the right of appeal should be unconditionally given to an aggrieved party or it should be conditionally given. The right to appeal which is a statutory right can be conditional or qualified.[1] So it is the statutory provision which shall determine where an appeal shall lie and whether it shall lie before High Court or any other forum. Further that, right to appeal is neither an absolute right nor an ingredient of natural justice the principles of which must be followed in all judicial and quasi-judicial adjudications.[2] The right to appeal is a statutory right and it can be circumscribed by the conditions in the grant.[3]

Statutory Appeals that lie before High Court :

  • Section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
  • First Appeal: Sections 96 to 99A; 107 to 108 & Order 41 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
  • Second Appeal: Section 100 of Code of Civil Procedure
  • Section 260A of the Income-Tax Act, 1961
  • Section 173 of Motor Vehicles Act
  • Section 130 of the Customs Act, 1962.

(List is not exhaustive)


An appeal can be filed against the decision of a Session Judge if the accused has been sentenced for 7 years or more. Capital punishment given by a sessions judge cannot be executed unless it is confirmed by the High Court.


Appeals arising out of Civil matters are called as Civil Appeals. The Civil Appeals are basically governed by Code of Civil Procedure. Further the High Court may also frame rules and procedures for conducting Civil Appeals. Appeals could be filed either against an order or Judgment.


The decree/judgment passed by any appellate Civil Court in the first appeal can be challenged by way of a second appeal before the High Court. If the case involves a substantial question of law, the second appeal can be filed even against an ex parte decree/judgment of the first appellate court.


No appeal can be filed against a decree/judgment which has been passed by the court with the consent of the parties. Again, no appeal can be filed, except on a question of law, from a decree in any suit of the courts of small causes, when the value of the subject matter of the suit is less than Rs. 3000/-.

Furthermore, where a decree/judgment is passed by a single judge of the High Court in second appeal, the said decree/judgment is not appealable.

Further, that 42nd Amendment, 1976 disallowed the High Court to hear appeals against Tribunals and the decisions of various Corporations established under the law of the state. But this restriction on the High Court’s appellate jurisdiction was removed by the 43rd Amendment.


The basis of an appeal must be a reversible error in the application of the law, or appreciation of fact, at the trial court level (i.e., based on the facts, the court clearly misapplied the law). In criminal cases, an appeal can target the conviction itself or just the sentencing portion of the decision without regard to the underlying conviction.  An appeal may be filed only after a final judgment or order has been reached by the trial court.

  1. A judgment/decree can be challenged in the first appeal on varied grounds both on basis of facts of the case and as well the legal interpretation of various legal provisions involved.
  2. For instance a party may raise objections as regards the territorial and pecuniary competence of a court passing the challenged judgment and decree.
  3. If there has been a failure of justice on account of such incompetence.
  4. Equally, in case all the necessary parties were not joined in the original suit, a challenge to the judgment decree of such a court can be maintained.
  5. An appeal may be as well to challenge the interpretation of law as the legal provisions applied by the subordinate court while making the judgment/ decree any error, defect as irregularity in any proceeding before the subordinate court affecting the merits of the case as the jurisdiction of such a court may as well be a sustainable ground while making an appeal.
  6. The second appeal can be filed only if there exists a substantial question of law. In the case the question of law would be substantial if it is of general public importance or which directly and substantially affects rights of the parties.

How are writs and appeals of High Court different?

Writs are extraordinary court orders and only issued when a moving party (the one seeking the writ) has no other options. A writ petition is filed to protect constitutional rights, Legal Rights or fundamental rights. Whereas, an appeal is a motion filed before a judge on which a previous lower court has passed an order or orders as the case may be and the orders are unsatisfactory to the person filing the appeal and so he she files appeal in a higher court. Usually writ petitions are filed first, whereas, appeals are filed after orders or judgment of lower courts. To read more about writs, click here.

I lost my trial because my law made stupid mistakes, can’t I rely on an appeal before High Court to correct them?

Don’t count on appeals to make up for any real or perceived deficiencies at trial. You should put all of your energy into the trial itself, which includes finding the right lawyer to try the case. Successfully appealing a verdict because you had a deficient attorney is an extremely difficult proposition. You can’t appeal because you simply had a bad lawyer. But, we may firstly understand some of the basic concepts pertaining to Appeal.

What is an appeal, when is it filed ?

At the conclusion of a proceeding in a lower court, the party who lost may want to have that decision reviewed by a higher court i.e. District Court, High Court or Supreme Court or concerned Tribunal depending upon the Legislative Scheme, in the hope that it might be reversed or changed.What an appeal is not

An appeal is not:

  • a new trial;
  • a hearing with witnesses or a jury;
  • a chance to present new evidence or new witnesses to a new judge, except in exceptional circumstances; or
  • a way to avoid complying with the trial court’s order.

Does an appeal constitute a new trial?

No. In an appeal there are no new issues presented or witnesses called to testify. The appellate court will only review the Trial Court’s Judgment and evidence presented during the trial to determine whether there were errors in either procedure or application of the law. Even if there were errors, if they’re deemed minor — legally called “harmless error” – the judgment is generally not overturned, nor is a new trial be granted. You must understand that an appeal is not a new trial or a rehearing of your case. The Court of Appeal will not hear an appeal of every case. In some cases, you must ask the permission of the Court to appeal through a process called “leave to appeal”. Even if the Court of Appeal hears your appeal, it will not:

  • re-hear your case from start to finish;
  • change the decision because it seems unfair; or
  • change the decision just because the Court of Appeal disagrees with it. (The decision must be incorrect due to a factual or legal error.)

What is a possible outcome of an Appeal :

  1. Affirm the decision;
  2. Modify the ruling in some way;
  3. Consider new facts or evidence (seldom); or
  4. In extremely rare cases, may throw out the case entirely.


  1. In Anant Mills Co. Ltd. v. State of Gujarat [(1975) 2 SCC 175]
  2. Shri Shyam Kishore and Ors. v. Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Anr. as reported in J.T. 1992 (5) SC 335 at page 351
  3. Gujarat Agro Industries Co. Ltd. v. Municipal Corpn. of the City of Ahmedabad [(1999) 4 SCC 468] and Vijay Prakash D. Mehta v. Collector of Customs [(1988) 4 SCC 402]