What Is Letter Patent Appeal?

The letter patent appeal is a remedy available to an aggrieved party if they are dissatisfied with the decision of the High Court. However, the Letter Patent Appeal Rules may vary from state to state.

Letter Patent Appeal

An appeal by a petitioner against a decision of a single judge to a different bench of the same court is known as Letter Patents Appeal (LPA). It was a solution proffered when institutions like the High Courts were first introduced in India in 1865.

The whole idea behind this remedy is the verdict of a single judge could go wrong due to manipulated facts as well as misinterpreted law. Hence this solution is made available in court to the petitioner to appeal against the verdict of the single judge of a high court. However, if this is not the choice of the petitioner, such a remedy would lie only in the Supreme Court.

Letter Patent Appeal is an option available to the petitioner before going to the Supreme Court. They have the choice to approach another bench constituted with more than one judge. It can either be an intra-court appeal in the High Court or an inter-court appeal in the Supreme Court but both have different rules in the context of LPA. 

The Time Limit for Appeal

If an appeal has to be filed in the High Court against the order of a single judge, it is known as an intra-court appeal. The time limit for such an appeal in an intra-court is a maximum of 30 days. On the other hand, if an appeal has to be filed before the Supreme Court against the order of the High Court, it is known as an inter-court appeal. The time limit for such an appeal is a maximum of 90 days.

Documents Required

To file an appeal, the petitioner must undertake the court fees payment as stated in the schedule or the related information handbook. The paperwork for filing an appeal are as follows:

  • Copy of judgment and decree appealed from
  • Certificate copy granted by the High Court
  • Certificate copy of the order granting the said certificate
NOTE: The process of filing writs may differ from state to state, therefore, it is advisable to check the letters patent rules of the respective High Courts.

Provision of Law (Letter of Patent Appeal)

The various provisions of law that inculcates the Letter of Patent Appeal are as follows:

Article 226 of the Constitution of India:

It states that every High Court shall have the power, to order any authority and any person for integrating appropriate cases, to the government, or for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by Part III or for any other situation. 

Article 227 of the Constitution of India:

  • Prescribes that the High Court deals with all other courts and councils comparable to its activities. Without the bias of over-simplification of the foregoing provisions. 
  • Makes and issues general standards and endorses structures for directing the training procedures for other courts. 
  • Further, prescribe guidelines for the manner in which books, sections, and records will be kept by the officials of any other courts.

Exceptions to LPA

Arbitration Act: LPA is not maintainable

It has been observed that an application under Section 8 of the Act is an application under Part I of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act of 1996. This means that an appeal from an order issued under Section 8 of the Act would be barred under Section 37 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act. As a result, it was determined that the Letters Patent Appeal is not maintainable in the case of an order issued under Section 8 of the Act.

Criminal Proceedings: LPA is not maintainable

Letter Patent Appeal is not maintainable under criminal proceedings. An appeal in the High Court to the division bench is not arguable or maintainable in any order dictated by the single bench judge in the criminal proceedings. 


The High Courts and the Supreme Court both give a choice of appeal to the litigant in a letter patent appeal. On the off chance that one cannot comply with the request of the courts, they can apply for this appeal. Moreover, different law provisions manage letter patent appeals differently. 

Get in touch with experts at Vakilsearch to understand how Letter Patents Appeal can help you. 

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