The Normal Kings ruled over England with the advice of a Council, called the King’s Court. The officials of King’s Court gradually divided into two groups, (i) Major group; and (ii) Minor Group.
The Major Group consisted a large body and they used to meet on fixed occasions by general summons. They used to make laws and decide disputes. This Major group was the origin of “House of Lords” in England.
The small body consisted of Royal officials to assist the King in the discharge of the various functions of Government-Legislative, administrative and judicial. This smaller body later on became as “Privy Council”.
Appeals to Privy Council:
In 17th Century some appeals were preferred to King-in -Council as a last resort. As the British Empire gradually grew, the burden on King-in-Council had been increased. The number of the appeals had been increased year-by-year.
There were several statutes made up in different colonies and dominions. Appeals made under such statutory provisions came to be known as “Appeals as of Right”.
This did not exhaust the Royal prerogative completely and King-in-Council still entertained appeal made to it with special permission.
Every though the circumstances of a particular appeal did not fulfill the requirements expressly made in respect of “Appeals as of Right”. These appeals were called as “Appeals by Special Leave”.
Appeals from India:
1. Appeals from Major’s Courts of 1726:
Appellate jurisdiction of the Privy Council was made available for the First time to Indians by the Charter of 1726 by which Mayor’s Court’s were established in three Presidencies of India viz. Calcutta, Bombay and Madras.
2. Appeals from the Supreme Court under Regulating Act, 1773:
The Mayors Courts were displaced by Supreme Court under Regulating Act, 1773 and the Judicial Charter of 1774, in which the provision for Appeals to Privy Council was made; subject-matter in dispute was worth 1000 pagodas or more, within 6 months from the day of pronouncing the judgment. The Supreme Court, in criminal appeals, had the discretion to allow or deny an appeal to the Privy Council.
3. Appeals from Recorders Court under the Act of 1797:
Recorder’s Courts were established under the Act of 1797, in which the provisions were made to appeal to the Privy Council (King-in-Council), subject to Rs. 3,000 or more.
4. Appeals from Sadar Adaiats:
Regulation XIV, 1797 laid down that the petition of appeal had to be presented to the Sadar Divrani Adalat within six months of the date of delivery of judgment appealed against and subject-matter to # 5000 or more.
5. The Judicature Act, 1845:
The Company had to incur expenditure towards the appeals. The Company had to spend # 151537 ot 67 appeals. Thus it had become very burden on Company. To prevent this, the Judicature Act, 1845 was enacted,, which came into force with effect from 1-i-;84S. The appeals were to be managed by parties themselves.
6. High Courts Act, 1881:
The Supreme Courts, Sadar Adaiats were abolished and in their place the High Courts were established in the Presidency towns by the Indian High Courts Act, 1861.
An appeal could be made to the Privacy Council in any case not a being of a criminal jurisdiction from any final judgment, decree of order of the High Court.
If the value of the subject- matter was not less than Rs. 10,000 In criminal cases, an appeal could ire to the Privy Council from any Judgment or sentence of a High Court provided the ‘High Court certifies that the case was fit one for appeal to the Privy Council.