Judicial Dictionary

Appeal Right of

It is well known that right of appeal is not a natural or inherent right.

It cannot be assumed to exist unless expressly provided for by statute.

Being a creature of statute, remedy of appeal must be legitimately traceable to the statutory provisions.

In the case of Maria Cristina De Souza Sadder v. Amria Zurana Pereira Pinto, (1979) 1 SCC 92, Supreme Court held as under:

5 …It is no doubt well-settled that the right of appeal is a substantive right and it gets vested in a litigant no sooner the lis is commenced in the Court of the first instance, and such right or any remedy in respect thereof will not be affected by any repeal of the enactment conferring such right unless the repealing enactment either expressly or by necessary implication takes away such right or remedy in respect thereof.

The principle of ‘appeal being a statutory right and no party having a right to file appeal except in accordance with the prescribed procedure’ is now well settled. The right of appeal may be lost to a party in face of relevant provisions of law in appropriate cases. It being creation of a statute, legislature has to decide whether the right to appeal should be unconditional or conditional. Such law does not violate Article 14 of the Constitution. An appeal to be maintainable must have its genesis in the authority of law. Reference may be made to M. Ramnarain Private Limited v. State Trading Corporation of India Limited, (1983) 3 SCC 75 and Gujarat Agro Industries Co. Ltd. v. Municipal Corporation of the City of Ahmedabad, (1999) 4 SCC 468. Right of appeal is neither a natural nor inherent right vested in a party. It is substantive statutory right regulated by the statute creating it. The cases of Kondiba Dagadu Kadam v. Savitribai Sopan Gujar, (1999) 3 SCC 722 and Kashmir Singh v. Harnam Singh, AIR 2008 SC 1749 may be referred to on this point.

Thus, it is evident that the right to appeal is not a right which can be assumed by logical analysis much less by exercise of inherent jurisdiction. It essentially should be provided by the law in force. In absence of any specific provision creating a right in a party to file an appeal, such right can neither be assumed nor inferred in favour of the party.

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