Constitution of India

Article 134A – Certificate for appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Constitution of India is the fountainhead from which all our laws derive their authority and force. This is next Article in the series on constitutional provisions in order to aid our readers in understanding them.


134A. Certificate for appeal to the Supreme Court.Every High Court, passing or making a judgment, decree, final order, or sentence, referred to in clause (1) of article 132 or clause (1) of article 133, or clause (1) of article 134—

(a)     may, if it deems fit so to do, on its own motion; and

(b)    shall, if an oral application is made, by or on behalf of the party aggrieved, immediately after the passing or making of such judgment, decree, final order or sentence, determine, as soon as may be after such passing or making, the question whether a certificate of the nature referred to in clause (1) of article 132, or clause (1) of article 133 or, as the case may be, sub-clause (c) of clause (1) of article 134, may be given in respect of that case.


Article 134A does not constitute an independent provision under which a certificate can be issued. It is ancillary to articles 132, 133 and 134. That is the reason for the use of the words “if the High Court certifies under article 134A” in article 132(1) and in article 133(1) and for the use of the words “certificate under article 134A” in article 134(1)(c) of the Constitution. The High Court can issue a certificate only when it is satisfied that the conditions in article 132 or article 133 or article 134 of the Constitution, as the case may be, are satisfied.

Even where a certificate has been granted with respect to one question, the Supreme Court may permit the appellant to raise a pure question of law, not covered by the certificate.

Before the insertion of article 134A, there was no provision in the Constitution regarding the time and manner of filing an application for issue of a certificate by the High Court under articles 132, 133 and 134.

Article 134A has to be read only with articles 132, 133 and 134 inasmuch as it seeks to streamline the High Court’s grant of certificates for appeal to the Supreme Court. Articles 134A ordains that every High Court giving a “judgement, decree, final order or sentence” under its appellate jurisdiction vide articles 132, 133 and 134 in civil, criminal or other cases involving “a substantial question of law as to interpretation of the Constitution” “may”, on its own determine whether a certificate of fitness for appeal to the Supreme Court is to be given. But, it “shall” do so “as soon as may be” if an “oral application” is made by the aggrieved party “immediately after” passing of the judgement, decree, final order or sentence. The determination, in either case, has to be in accordance with the provisions of Articles 132(1), 133(1) and 134(1).

Source: Subhash Kashyap: Constitutional Law of India

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