In this article, Saurav Bhola, a student of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala discusses Review of Judgement under CPC.

Introduction

The Right of Review is granted by Civil Procedure Code as a remedy to be sought for an applied under special circumstances and conditions. The objective of this right is to correct the error or any mistake made in the decision of the court. This right is subjected to many limitations and conditions mentioned in Order 47 of the Civil Procedure Code.

Right under Section 114 of CPC is substantive right and the order 47 of CPC will provide the details of the procedure.  

As per the section 114 of CPC-

“Review – Subject as aforesaid, any person considering himself aggrieved-

 

  • By a decree or order from which an appeal is allowed by this Code, but from which no appeal has been preferred,
  • By a decree or order from which no appeal is allowed by this Code, or
  • By a decision on a reference from a Court of Small Causes,

 

may apply for a review of judgment to the Court which passes the decree or made the order, and the Court may make such order thereon as it thinks fit.”

What is ‘Functus Officio’ in relation to court?

When the term “Functus Officio” is used in relation to the court, it means that ‘once the court passed any judgment after the lawful hearing, then the case cannot reopen and the judgment is binding on the parties’. A lawful hearing and trial are the essential conditions for the “Functus Officio”.

Right to review judgment is the exception to this Latin term “Functus Officio”. On the application of an aggrieved party or person, the proceeding for review of Judgment will be initiated.

What is the Review of Judgment?

The dictionary meaning of review is ‘to examine or to study again’. So, the review of judgment is to examine or study again the facts and judgment of the case. Review of judgment is the substantive power of review by the court mentioned in Section 114 of CPC. This section doesn’t provide any limitations and conditions for review. The limitations and conditions are provided in Order 47 of the Civil Procedure Code. Order XLVII contains nine rules which impose some condition for the review.

The power to review is conferred by law and inherent power to review vests in court only. A Government officer has no inherent power to review his/her orders.

What is the time limit for filling the Review application of Judgment?

As per the Supreme Court Rules, 1966, the Review application shall be filed within the 30 days from the day the judgment or order passed.

And for appeal against any sentence or judgment in High court, shall be filed within 60 days from the day of judgment. For the appeal against the death sentence or capital punishment, the limitation period is 30 days from the passing of order.

What are the rules in Order 47 of Civil Procedure Code 1908?

Order 47 of CPC deals with the application for review of the judgment. An application for review can be rejected on various grounds. These grounds are mentioned in the rules of Order 47 of CPC.

Rule 1 of Order 47 of CPC:

“(1) Any person considering himself aggrieved-

 

  • by a decree or order from which an appeal is allowed, but from no appeal has been preferred,
  • by a decree or order from which no appeal is allowed, or
  • by a decision on a reference from a Court of Small Causes,
    and who, from the discovery of new and important matter or evidence which, after the exercise of due diligence was not within his knowledge or could not be produced by him at the time when the decree was passed or order made, or on account of some mistake or error apparent on the face of the record or for any other sufficient reason, desires to obtain a review of the decree passed or order made against him, may apply for a review of judgment to the Court which passed the decree or made the order.

 

(2)  A party who is not appealing from a decree or order may apply for a review of judgment notwithstanding the pendency of an appeal by some other party except where the ground of such appeal is common to the applicant and the appellant, or when, being respondent, he can present to the Appellate Court the case on which he applies for the review.”

What are the Grounds for review of judgment?

  • When new and important evidence is discovered by the applicant and he/she was not in knowledge or due to negligence not able to provide the evidence when the decree was passed.
  • Power of review is available only when there is an error apparent on the face of the record and not on the erroneous decision. An error apparent on the face of the record, can’t be defined precisely and it has to be decided judicially on the facts of each case. [1]
  • Any other sufficient grounds which is analogous to those specified in these rules.
  • The misconception of the court can be regarded as the sufficient ground for review of the judgment.

What are the ‘any other sufficient reasons’ that permit the application of review?

The words ‘any other sufficient reason’ means a reason sufficient on the ground at least analogous to those specified in the rule. [2]

Total misreading of the admitted records doesn’t come within the ambit of the ‘discovery of new facts’ and ‘error apparent on the face of record’. Hence, it comes within the ambit of ‘any other sufficient reasons’. And the review application is required to be supported by an affidavit. [3]

Rule 5 of Order 47 of CPC

“Application for review in Court consisting of two or more judges-

Where the Judge or Judges, or any one of the judges, who passed the decree or made the order a review of which is applied for, continues or continued attaches to the Court at the time when the application for a review is presented, and is not or not precluded by absence or other cause for a period of six months next after the application from considering the decree or order to which the application refers, such Judge or Judges or any of them shall hear the application, and no other Judge or Judges of the Court shall hear the same.”
Hearing of review by the same judge:

A review must be heard by the same judge or by the same court. The reason behind this is that the same judge will be in the best position to review the judgment. But in the case where the same judicial officer is not available then, it is very settled law that any court of competent jurisdiction can hear the case.

As per rule 5,

The same judge will be the ideal judge to review the judgment. Because the same judge will review his/her own judgment better and more effectively than others. Except, where the judge is absent for the period of six months or more from the date of filing the review application.

Rule 6 of Order 47 of IPC:

“Application where rejected-

 

  • Where the application for a review is heard by more than one Judge and the Court is equally divided, the application shall be rejected.
  • Where there is a majority, the decision shall be according to the opinion of the majority.”

 

When the judgment is given by more than one judge then, the decision on the application will be done by the majority. The bench is divided and shall reject the application where a review application is heard by more than one judge.

What are the grounds on which the review application can be rejected?

  • Judges or court can reject the review application when they are satisfied that the application of review is not based on the discovery of new facts,  error apparent on the face of the record or any other sufficient grounds which is analogous to those specified in these rules.
  • If the review is filed after the expiry of the prescribed time period for filing of the application without reasonable excuse.
  • The application of review will be rejected if the appeal is on the already reviewed order.  There will be no further review of any order or judgment passed on the review order.
  • If there is the failure of appearance of the applicant on the date fixed for the review without any sufficient reason for non-appearance.
  • In case of two or more judges, the decision of majority will be considered.

Rule 7 of Order 47 of IPC:

“Order of rejection not appealable. Objections to order granting application.-

1) An order of the Court rejecting the application shall not be appealable, but an order granting an application may be objected to at once by an appeal from the order granting the application or in an appeal from the decree or order finally passed or made in the suit.
(2) Where the application has been rejected in consequence of the failure of the applicant to appear, he may apply for an order to have the rejected application restored to the file, and, where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Court that he was prevented by any sufficient cause from appearing when such application was called on for hearing, the Court shall order it to be restored to the file upon such terms as to costs or otherwise as it thinks fit, and shall appoint a day for hearing the same.
(3) No order shall be made under sub-rule (2) unless notice of the application has been served on the opposite party.”

Whether the rejection of the review application by the judges is appealable or not?

As per Rule 7 of Order 47 of IPC, An order of rejection of review application is not appealable. The party filing the application of review cannot appeal again if their review application is rejected by the Judges or court. However, the accepted application is appealable.

Where the rejection of application is due to the failure of appearance of the applicant on the date fixed for the hearing, the applicant can apply for an order to restore his application and court will restore his appeal is it is proved that there was a sufficient cause for non-appearance.

The opposite party must be notified of the status of the review application.

Rule 8 of Order 47 of CPC:

“Registry of application granted, and order for rehearing-
When an application for review is granted, a note thereof shall be made in the register and the Court may at once re-hear the case or make such order in regard to the re-hearing as it thinks fit.”

When the court accepts the application for review judgment, the court will proceed with the procedure of rehearing of the case. And the after review judgment will be binding on the parties.[4]

Rule 9 of Order 47 of CPC:

Bar of certain application-
No application to review an order made on an application for a review or a decree or order passed or made on a review shall be entertained.”

Rule 9 of Order 47 of CPC, mentioned that there will be no further review of any order or judgment passed on the review order.

Conclusion:

The power of reviewing of its own judgment is conferred on the court. Section 114 and Order 47 of Civil procedure Code provides the right to review the judgment. Section 114 provides only right to review the judgment and order 47 of CPC provides limitations and conditions. Article 137 of the Indian Constitution allowed the Supreme Court to review its own orders and judgment. The objective behind this power is to ensure justice. It is rightly said that “Law has to bend before justice”.

Endnotes:

[1] Usha Rani Banik v. Hardas, AIR 2005 Gau 1.

[2] Lily Thomas v. Union of India, AIR 2000 SC 1650 (1665) : (2000) 6 SCC 224 : 2000 CrLJ 2433.

[3] Soumitra Panda v. A.K. Agarwal, AIR 1994 Cal 165.

[4] Moran M.B. Catholicos v. Mar Poulose AIR 1954 SC 526 : (1955) 1 SCR 520 : (1954) TC 867: 1954 KLT 385.

 

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