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This article has been written by Darshi Hetal Jhaveri pursuing the Certificate Course in Advanced Civil Litigation: Practice, Procedure and Drafting from LawSikho. This article has been edited by Aatima Bhatia (Associate, Lawsikho), and Ruchika Mohapatra (Associate, Lawsikho). 

Introduction 

The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 is a procedural law that is related to the administration of civil proceedings in India. It defines the circumstances under which civil cases can be revised by the High Court and lays down the procedure for revision. In this particular article, we will be discussing, in-depth, the issues that an appellant faces while filing a revision petition against rejection of application for condonation of delay and whether filing such a revision petition is maintainable or not under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC)

The concept of revision under Indian laws

A Revision Application is not particularly defined under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and yet it has been explained under the judgments of various judges as a matter of law. The provision of revision has been made available to the High Court with the right to revise the cases decided by the subordinate courts in the Indian Judiciary system. 

As per Section 115 (1) under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, the High court has been given powers to look out for and to examine any proceedings of the lower/ subordinate courts in case of the matters that are- 

  1. If the subordinate court does not hold jurisdiction for that matter
  2. If the subordinate court fails to exercise the jurisdiction of that matter
  3. If the subordinate court fails to act correctly in the matter of its jurisdiction.

However, as per the section, the provision of Revision can only be applied in the cases where the provision of appeal cannot be attained. 

  1. Objective of Revision

Revision here, refers to going through something carefully, thoroughly, and diligently. Cases can be revised by the High Court as it possesses revisional jurisdiction as defined under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The High Court has the right to revise cases decided by subordinate courts to ensure delivery of justice and maintenance of fairness.

  1. Who can file the Revision Petition application?

A revision application can be filed under the High court by the aggrieved party once the final judgment of the case is held, in which no appeal lies. However, a revision application can be filed by suo moto by the High Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 if the case deems fit as per law. 

The concept of condonation of delay under Limitation Act

The Limitations Act, 1963 provides limitations for several parts in a suit. This is done to provide a deadline to a suit; so that no party can just wake up one day years after the cause of action and fight for its rights; that are now long gone. This is also done to prevent the parties from wasting the time of the Hon’ble Court. 

However, there is a provision under The Limitations Act, 1963 where the party to a suit that misses applying for the application as prescribed under the limitations act can ask for a period of extension. This particular provision is explained under Section 5  of The Limitations Act, 1963. The extension can be granted by the court if the reason provided contains a cause that is sufficient as per the requirements of the Hon’ble judge of the court.

Section 5 of The Limitations Act, 1963 states as follows, “Extension of prescribed period in certain cases.— Any appeal or any application, other than an application under any of the provisions of Order XXI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), may be admitted after the prescribed period if the appellant or the applicant satisfies the court that he had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal or making the application within such period. 

Explanation.— The fact that the appellant or the applicant was misled by any order, practise or judgment of the High Court in ascertaining or computing the prescribed period may be sufficient cause within the meaning of this section.”

To ask for the extension under Section 5 of the Limitations Act, 1963 the application of Condonation of delay needs to be filed in the Hon’ble Court elaborating the sufficient cause that caused the delay. The term sufficient cause is not however explained definitively and has been developed and understood based on the decision of the Judges to decide whether the cause is justified or not. General instances of sufficient cause might include- sickness, imprisonment, insufficient funds, etc of the party unable to file proceedings of the suit on time. 

Whether a revision application under Section 115 of the Code challenging the order rejecting an application for condonation of delay filed in an appeal is maintainable?

A revision application under Section 115 of the Code challenging the order rejecting an application for condonation of delay filed in an appeal is not maintainable as per the Judgment in the case of Chandu Ambekar vs Digambar Kulkarni. In this particular case, the issue of whether the application filed in an appeal is maintainable or not arose. The bench unanimously came to the decision that such an appeal is not maintainable. It was held that “It is well settled that the right of appeal is substantial but there is no such substantive right in making an application under Section 115 of the Code. Section 115 is essentially a source of power to the High Court to supervise the subordinate Courts. It does not, in any way, confer a right on a litigant aggrieved by any order of the subordinate Court to approach the High Court for relief, and thus the scope for revising Section 115 is not linked with a substantive right.”

Another reason is that Section 115 of the CPC rightly states the reasons under which the right to revision is maintainable. The particular order rejecting the application of condonation of delay does not fall under any of the three provisions stated. Thus, such an order cannot be maintained.

Thus, it was held that the right of revision is not being made available as it is outside of the scope of revision as per section 115 under the CPC. 

Decision in Chandu S/O Jagannath Ambekar vs Digambar S/O Kisanrao Kulkarni

Facts of the case

The applicants, in this case, filed a Civil suit for Declaration of Title & Injunction before the Civil Judge Junior Division at Vijapur. This particular suit was dismissed by the Hon’ble judge after which an application of restoration was filed, but the Restoration Application was filed after the prescribed limitation period under the Limitations Act. Due to which it was filed along with the application of condonation of delay. The application of condonation of delay was also rejected by the hon’ble lower court. The order of the lower court rejecting the application of Condonation of delay was challenged by the Applicant by filing a Civil Revision Application under Section 115 (1) of the Code of Civil Procedure before the Bombay High Court. 

Issues raised

(i) Whether a revision application under Section 115 of the Code challenging the order rejecting an application for condonation of delay filed in an appeal is maintainable, and

(ii) Whether such an application for condonation of delay in filing an appeal is an independent proceeding from the appeal or restoration application in a suit/appeal.

Judgment of the case

The Bombay High Court in the present case observed that after a mere rejection of an application of condonation of delay cannot be considered that the actual application of the suit is dismissed. It cannot be interpreted that this rejection is the final judgment of the case. Hence, as the impugned Order is not maintainable for Revision application under Section 115(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure before the Hon’ble High Court.

Another reason why the provision of revision is not maintainable is that the right to revision is made available only for the aggrieved party in cases where no appeal lies under Section 96 of CPC. Furthermore, the right is made available to the aggrieved party also only after the final order and not the impugned order. The Bombay High Court also observed that the remedy available to such applicants to avail justice is to file a Writ Petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India rather than the filing of a revision petition under Section 115 (1) of the Code of civil procedure. 

Conclusion

Revision under CPC is understood as its literal meaning. The concept of revision refers to going through a particular judgment or order passed by the lower court through the higher court very carefully, precisely, and diligently. To ensure that justice is not denied at any stage and to have a review of a judgment in case of unlawful or frivolous orders passed by the lower court revision is of utmost importance.

References

  1. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1095726/ 
  2. https://www.indiacode.nic.in/show-data?actid=AC_CEN_3_20_00051_190805_1523340333624&sectionId=33456&sectionno=115&orderno=124.

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