This article is written by Sukeerti K G who is pursuing a Certificate Course in Advanced Civil Litigation: Practice, Procedure and Drafting from LawSikho.
Are you stuck on how to draft a petition before the High Court that is more likely to explain your case in the best possible way? Or do you want a comprehensive checklist that can be used to ensure that your application doesn’t miss any essential ingredients of a Revision Petition? Or do you simply want to know how a Revision Petition practically works in court? Then, this article is for you.
What is a Revision Petition?
A Revision Petition is an application made to a High Court to correct the mistakes made by the Courts subordinate to it. The High Court of a State has power to supervise the works of the subordinate court under its Jurisdiction. The High Court has power to oversee, correct and improve if the sub-court has committed any illegality, irregularity, capriciously, has acted arbitrary, or has committed some error in procedure. For Example: Madras High Court has power to supervise all courts which are under its Jurisdiction. Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 explains when the High Courts can exercise this power. (herein referred as ‘CPC’).
Thus, the HC revises the order made by the subordinate court if the court has made a jurisdictional error. This article is mainly for how an RP should be drafted and not what is an RP.
A suit is filed in a small cause court and its pecuniary limit of the Small Cause Court is Rs.10,000. The money in dispute is Rs. 5000. Under section 96(4) no appeal will lie from a decree of the Small Cause Court if the value of the subject doesn’t exceed Rs. 10,000 unless it is based on a question of law. Therefore, in this case, an appeal cannot lie in the High Court or any court subordinate to it. But, if the prerequisite conditions under section 115 are fulfilled then a Revision Petition can lie in the High Court. Thus, if an appeal does not lie, and the matter pertains to a question of fact and not question of law and such question is relating to the failure in exercising the jurisdiction or in exercising the jurisdiction not vested or the court had acted with illegality or with material irregularity then a Revision Petition may lie in the High Court.
When can you file a Revision Petition?
- The impugned order amounts to a case decided.
- The case has been decided by a court subordinate to the High Court. (a court can pass a number of orders in a suit and such order need not be the final one.)
- No appeal must be filed against the suit in the High Court or any other court which is subordinate to the High Court.
- The subordinate court appears to have:
- Exercised jurisdiction not vested in it by law;
- Failed to exercise jurisdiction vested;
- To have acted in the exercise of the Judge illegally or material irregularity.
Where should you file a Revision Petition?
Revisionary power can only be enforced by the High Court of the State. It comes under the Appellate Jurisdiction of the High Court. It is almost similar to the power of courts under Article 226 and 227 of the High Court, but the writ jurisdiction powers are much wider.
The period of limitation for filing a revision application is 90 days from the date of decree or order of the subordinate court.
- High Court cannot interfere in the decision of the lower court unless there is error apparent on the face of record.
- The HC in exercising the revisional powers cannot in any circumstance (even when the parties to a suit consent) cannot decide on any other point other than what is conferred under section 113. Doing so would render the suit as tried under Original Jurisdiction of the High Court, which is not permissible under the CPC.
- The scope of HC in RP is wide, but, the court does not possess the power to decide the validity of the provision of the Act.
- Where the lower court held that the pro-note was insufficiently stamped and thus it is inadmissible as evidence the revisional jurisdiction of HC was upheld. In the present suit, all the conditions satisfying the document as a pro-note was satisfied and had it been a case where the party had sufficiently stamped the pro-note, it would have been held admissible. The lower court had erred in exercising its jurisdiction as stamp is a technicality and can be corrected in a later stage. When the evidence is material to a case it cannot be rejected on a mere technicality alone.
Checklist for a Revision Petition Case
- A prima facie case should be in your favor where the lower court has acted beyond its jurisdiction or failed to exercise its jurisdiction.
- The order should be final, it should not be for a temporary period of time or an interim order.
- The Order should not be an appealable order i.e., no appeal can lie either in a High Court (directly or indirectly) or any other court.
How should your draft be for a Revision Petition?
- The necessary format should be followed which is the cause title, name of court, memo of parties, Index, etc.(Look into the applicable state rules as various states have certain additional requirements. Like in Delhi High Court you should certainly provide with an Index and List of Dates and Events).
- The first para should state that a revision petition is filed under section 115 of the CPC and thereby the petitioner is challenging the impugned order of the subordinate court. Also, mention the case number and attach a Certified Copy of the order which you are challenging.
- Describe briefly where the subordinate court has gone wrong and justify your reason for approaching the court. This para should be able to convey the outline of your case and the Judge should have a fair outline of what you are going to explain in the paras below.
- State a brief explanation of the original suit so the Judge has a better understanding of why you have approached the High Court for revision. Do not delve into the facts of the case and explain in detail as the High Court only looks if there has been a ‘Jurisdictional error’.
- After stating the brief facts in 3 to 7 paragraphs (there is no rule as to how many paragraphs, this explanation depends on the dispute and matter in hand, some cases may require lengthy paragraphs and some may not. There is no straight jacket formula for applying this rule.)
- You should state in concise terms the facts and where the subordinate court had committed a jurisdictional error or had acted with illegality or immorality. This can be essentially under the head of grounds for filing the revision petition.
- Under the grounds explain all of the reasons which led to the filing of the present revision petition. Provide the court with valid provisions applicable and where the Sub-Court had failed to use its powers or had no power but had used it which has caused injustice to the petitioner and if it’s a violation of natural justice principle or fair trial state that also.
- If, in case it is difficult for you to find the grounds you can take a crux/ratio of a judgement and quote it as a ground. Like in the particular SC Case the Apex Court had held that this should be followed in these kinds of proceedings. The lower court has disregarded it. Thus, it is an irregularity and a case fit for revision.
- State why the intervention of the higher court is necessary and explain briefly the consequences of non-intervention. Also state that it would be grave injustice caused to the petitioner if the court does not intervene.
- State the next date of hearing and before which court the case is pending. Also attach a copy of your plaint/written statement, in case the Revisionary Court finds it important to look into the plaint/written statement to better understand the problem. The reason for providing a date is so that, if a stay order is granted, the court would definitely want to know when the next hearing is.
- In the last paragraphs state that there is no appeal directly or indirectly to the High Court or to any other court subordinate to it.
- Prayer should state the exact requirements or remedies which you seek from the court.
Sample draft Revision Petition
IN THE HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL REVISION NO.333 OF 2020
MEMO OF THE PARTIES
Description of Documents
Memo of Parties
List of Dates and Events
Revision Memo under Section 115 of the CPC, 1908.
Impugned Order dated 15/07/2019
(Counsel for the Petitioner)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL REVISION NO.333 OF 2020
REVISION PETITION UNDER SECTION 115 OF THE CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE, 1908 CHALLENGING THE ORDER PASSED ON _____IN THE CASE NO._____.
The Petitioner MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH:
1. That, the instant Revision Petition is filed by the Petitioner under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 being aggrieved by the Order dated _______ passed by the Ld. Civil Judge, ______________, New Delhi in Civil Suit No. ________of 2019 seeking to set aside the same. The certified copy of the impugned order is annexed hereto and marked as Annexure A1.
2. The Petitioner seeks the intervention of the Hon’ble Court as the subordinate court had refused to summon two important witnesses who were determinant to the case. Without the court intervention, and thereby issuing an Order of Summons, there is no way that they would appear and answer on Oath. The non-appearance of the witness would lead to grave injury caused to the Petitioner. Thus, this petition to direct the Subordinate Court to issue summons to the witness and thereby exercise the jurisdiction the court has.
BRIEF FACTS OF THE CASE
3. The money suit was filed by the Petitioner on __________based on the contract entered into by the Plaintiff and the Defendant for jointly bidding a tender floated by the Public Sector Unit (PSU). It was agreed that the sale proceeds would be distributed equally to the bidders.
4. The parties secured the tender in their favour for Rs.5,00,000 and the amount was credited to the Defendants account. But, the value of the tender would least amount to Rs. 10,00,000.
5. The Defendant after receiving the sale proceeds informed the Plaintiff that he had accepted the tender for Rs. 5,00,000. When the Plaintiff enquired the Defendant as to why such low amounts were secured, the Defendant gave evasive response and never explained why such less amount was received, when clearly the value of movies is much higher. As per the terms and conditions of the contract half of the financial proceeds belong to the Plaintiff.
6. That the trial court framed issues on 19/01/2019 and directed the Petitioner to produce evidence, upon which the Petitioner promptly furnished to the court below four witnesses making a request that the witness should be summoned by that Court.
7. The Plaintiff listed 4 witnesses out of which there are 2 witnesses from the PSU.
8. The Judge refused to entertain such a request and directed the Plaintiff to secure the attendance of the 2 PSU witnesses on his own.
9. The Judge, after cross-examining the two other witnesses had passed an order to close the witness of the Plaintiff (order dated 15/07/2019).
10. Two witness of the petitioner had appeared and their statements were recorded. However, the learned Presiding Officer of the court below passed an order that the remaining witnesses be produced by the petitioner-plaintiff on his own without seeking the assistance of the court. This order was passed despite a request by the petitioner that at least those witnesses named in the list who are State employees should be summoned by the court, as they are required to produce and prove some official records.
- That on the date of hearing the learned trial court by the order impugned in this revision closed the evidence of the petitioner-plaintiff on the ground that the remaining witnesses were not produced by him.
- That the impugned order has caused great prejudice to the petitioner and if the same is allowed to stand the petitioner’s suit is bound to fail.
- The Judge has failed to exercise the powers granted to him under Order XVI, Rule I of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908.
- That the trial court has unjustifiably denied assistance of the court to the petitioner-plaintiff to secure the attendance of his witnesses. The interests of justice demand that he is provided with all legal assistance in this regard.
- The purpose of summoning the two PSU witnesses has a great impact on the case. Only on them giving testimony can the rights of the parties be decided and the justice can be upheld and the real rights of the parties be decided.
- That it is violative of the principles of natural justice and fair trial.
11. The Plaintiff submits that all court fees have been paid.
12. The Plaintiff submits that there is no appeal in the High Court or any other Court subordinate to it.
In the facts and circumstances discussed above the petitioner prays that this Hon’ble Court be pleased to
- Quash and set aside the order under revision.
- Direct the court below to provide assistance of the court for summoning the plaintiff-witnesses.
And pass any such other orders as the court may deem fit and proper in the light of the given circumstances and thus render justice.
Points to remember
- The power of the High Court to exercise its revisionary jurisdiction is discretionary. No absolute power lies to the parties of a suit to file a Revision Petition as compared to an appeal.
- A Revision Petition can be filed only against orders which have attained finality. In case of interim or interlocutory orders which are for a temporary period of time such as an Order restricting the party from alienating the disputed party for a period of 6 months, a RP will not lie. Note that temporary injunction, permanent and mandatory injunctions are appealable orders and thus a revision petition would not lie.
- There is a clear distinction between appeal and a case under section 115. The High Court does not go into the facts and circumstances of the case in a revision petition. It only looks into the aspect of where the lower court had assumed jurisdiction where it had no jurisdiction or where the lower court has jurisdiction and has failed to enforce it.
- The court will not reweigh or review the evidence of the case in hand. The High Court after analysing, if it finds that there had been a jurisdictional error would pass directions for the lower court to correct it. The High Court will not interfere in the case and pass orders or decisions like in the case of appeal where the appellate court can modify, alter, reverse or to remand a case.
- The High Court can exercise its revisionary powers Suo moto as well.
- The High Court cannot pass an order to set aside the findings of facts of the lower court.
- If a Revision Petition is filed, it would not operate as a stay proceeding to the original suit unless the High Court has ordered a stay proceeding. It means that pendency of a revision shall not operate as a stay of suit or other proceedings.
Revision Petition is a remedy to parties if the Court has gone beyond its boundaries. It is not an everyday occurrence but if the circumstances are grave a revision petition would be an effective remedy for the aggrieved party by approaching a Higher Authority to resolve the grievances. Since it is a last resort of sought, the Petition must be drafted well to clearly make the Court understand where the Lower Court has committed an error in simple and effective terms. Every draft is different and thus makes to convey to the Court what is in your mind. Always keep in mind that it is the discretion of the Court whether to grant relief or not, so make sure to draft the Petition in such a way that the Court doesn’t find an opportunity to reject the Petition. Happy Drafting!
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