- As a general rule, once a judgment is pronounced by a court, it becomes functus officio or it cannot be altered by such court.
- Review is an exception to this principle wherein the same court and the same judge are allowed under special circumstances to review their own judgment.
- However, this power must be used sparingly and only in cases where there is a grave or patent error.
- Review has its basis in the equity principle of Writ of error wherein an error caused was allowed to be rectified as it was believed that an error caused due to human failing cannot be allowed to defeat justice.
- S.114 and Order 47 lay down the general principles as regards review.
- S.114 states that in the following cases, an aggrieved person may ask for a review-
(a) Where a decree or order is passed which is appealable under the CPC and no appeal is preferred
(b) Where a decree or order is passed which is not appealable under the CPC
(c) Where a decision is given on a reference from a Small Causes Court
- Further, Order 47 provides that the aggrieved person must also prove that-
(a) New evidence has been discovered and it was not within his knowledge even after exercising due diligence or he could not produce the same before the court at the time the decree was passed. This allegation must be specifically proved.
(b) Where there is a mistake or error apparent on the face of the record.
(c) Where there is some other sufficient reason to allow for review.
- There is no inherent power of review. It must necessarily be conferred by law.
- Review may be allowed even where the decree passed has been appealed against.
- However, it won’t be allowed where the grounds for review and appeal are the same and the applicant in case of a review could have alleged such ground before the appellate court as respondent.
- An application for review shall be in the same form as that of an application for appeal.
- The court may either accept or reject the application as it deems fit based on the circumstances of each case.
- Where it accepts the application, the opposite party must be notified of the same so that he may appear before the court and be heard.
- As per Rule 5 only those judges who heard the application initially shall have the power to hear it again except where they shall be absent for a period of six months or more after the date of application.
- This is because these judges will be in the best position to review their own judgment.
- Where there is more than one judge, the decision on the application shall be as per the view of the majority.
- Where an application for review is heard by more than one judge and the bench is divided, the application shall be rejected.
- An order for rejection of an application of review shall not be appealable. Further, such an order is not a judgment and thus there cannot be a letters patent appeal.
- However, an order allowing such application shall be appealable. Such an appeal may even be made as part of the appeal from the decree or order finally passed or made in the suit.
- Where the application of a person has been rejected for non-appearance on the date fixed for the hearing, such person may apply to have his application restored and where the court is of the opinion that there was sufficient cause for non-appearance, it shall order the application to be restored to the file.
- The opposite party must be notified about such application for restoration.
- Where a review is granted, the court shall proceed with re-hearing the case.
- However, there can be no further review of any order passed on the review.
- The application for review must be filed within 30 days from the date of the decree or order which the applicant wishes to review.
- As an application for review may be considered as being a proceeding and a decision on the same is a case decided, such a decision may be subject to revision.
- The High Court’s power of review in case of writ petitions is not affected by the provisions of Order 47.
- Review by the Supreme Court of its orders or decrees are allowed under Art.137 of the Constitution.
Submitted By –
(Editor @ Legal Bites)
Author: Mayank Shekhar
Mayank is a student at Faculty of Law, Delhi University. Under his leadership, Legal Bites has been researching and developing resources through blogging, educational resources, competitions, and seminars.