Review Jurisdiction: To Be Sparingly Exercised
Review Jurisdiction: To Be Sparingly Exercised
The term “Review” in legal meaning means a judicial re-examination of the case. Any party which is aggrieved by an order or judgment may apply for reviewing the said order or judgement to the same court. Review Petition can be filed where no appeal is preferred or in case there is no provision for appeal. It is a discretionary right of court and the grounds for review are limited.
In order to rectify an error and prevent the gross miscarriage of justice, provisions for review has been laid down under
Article 137 of the Constitution of India which provides for review of judgments or orders by the Supreme Court. Since the Power given under the Article is subject to any law made by the Parliament or any other rules made thereunder by the Apex Court, the Power is to be exercised under the rules made by the court in pursuance of Art.145 of the Constitution on the grounds mentioned under Or. XLVII, Rule 1 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. Therefore, the review will lie in the Supreme Court on:
a. Discovery of a new and an essential matter or evidence
b. Error apparent on record
c. Other Sufficient reason
Order XLVII, Rule 1(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, provides for an application for review by any person considering himself aggrieved by a decree or order under various circumstances. Provision for review is also mentioned under Section 114 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
Part VIII Order XL of the Supreme Court Rules, 1966 deals with the review and consists of four rules. Rule 1 states that the Court may review its judgment or order in a civil matter only on the ground mentioned in Order XLVII Rule 1 of the Code and in a criminal matter, on the ground of an error apparent on the face of the record
In the case of Kamlesh Verma v. Mayawati & Ors., the Supreme Court has discussed the law relating to the exercise of powers of review by a Civil court. While citing various precedents on the subject, the Apex Court has held that Review Jurisdiction must be exercised sparingly and should not be used as a tool to re-agitate or re-argue matters which stand conclusively decided by the Courts.
This Court has repeatedly held in various judgments that the jurisdiction and scope of the review are not that of an appeal and it can be entertained only if there is an error clearly visible on the face of the record. In Sow Chandra Kante and Anr. v. Sheikh Habib, the court emphasized that a mere repetition of old and overruled arguments through different counsel is another trip over inadequately covered grounds or minor mistakes of insignificant import are obviously insufficient. It is beyond dispute that a review proceeding cannot be equated with the original hearing of the case, and the finality of the judgment delivered by the Court will not be reviewed except were a glaring omission or patent mistake or like grave error has crept in earlier by judicial fallibility.
In a criminal proceeding, the review is permissible on the ground of an error apparent on the face of the record. A review proceeding cannot be compared with the original hearing of the case. In M/s. Northern India Caterers (India) Ltd. v. Lt. Governor of Delhi, this Court held that:
” It is well-settled that a party is not entitled to seek a review of a judgment delivered by this Court merely’ for the purpose of a rehearing and a fresh decision of the case. The standard principle is that a judgment pronounced by the Court is final, and departure from that principle is justified only when circumstances of a substantial and compelling character make it necessary to do so: Sajjan Singh v. State of Rajasthan. For instance, if the attention of the Court is not drawn to a material statutory provision during the original hearing, the Court will review its judgment: G.L. Gupta v. D.N. Mehta. The Court may also reopen its judgment if a manifest wrong has been done and it is necessary to pass an order to do full and effective justice: O.N. Mohindroo v. Distt. Judge, Delhi. In a civil proceeding, an application for review is entertained only on a ground mentioned in Order 47 Rule1 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and in a criminal proceeding on the ground of an error apparent on the face of the record (Order 40 Rule 1, Supreme Court Rules, 1966).
In Kerala State Electricity Board v. Hitech Electrothermics and Hydropower Ltd. and Ors. In a review petition, it is not open to the Court to re-appreciate the evidence and reach a different conclusion, even if that is possible. The conclusion arrived at on appreciation of evidence cannot be assailed in a review petition unless it is shown that there is an error apparent on the face of the record or for some reason akin thereto.
In conclusion, to prevent the miscarriage of justice while keeping in mind possible human mistakes even by the Judges of the highest Court, Constitutional framers have provided the scope of a rehearing of a case by the same judge who has decided it. However, it is to be noted that the power of review is not an inherent power of the Court; it must be conferred by law either specially or by necessary implication as it not rehearing of an original matter The power of review is not to be confused with appellate power which enables a superior court to correct all errors committed by a subordinate court. A repetition of old and overruled argument is not enough to reopen concluded adjudications.