Definition of Review Petition

Review means when the court re-examines the decisions made by itself, the examination of any legislation made by the government or any act of the administrative organizations.

The Review petition rectifies the following:

Any error in an,

  • Act
  • Judgment
  • Legislation

During a Review Petition it is not Allowed to take fresh stock of the case but only to correct the ‘Grave Errors’ that has resulted in the an injustice. It is rare for Supreme court to admit reviews because the court has the power to review its rulings to correct a ‘patent error’ and not ‘minor mistakes’.

Justice Krishna Iyer, in his 1975 ruling, said that a review petition can be accepted “only where a glaring omission or patent mistake or like grave error has crept in earlier by judicial fallibility”.

Union of India v. Sandur Manganese & Iron Ores Ltd 2013, the court laid down nine principles on when a review is maintainable. A review is by no means an appeal in disguise whereby an erroneous decision is reheard and corrected but lies only for patent error.

It added that the mere possibility of two views on the subject cannot be a ground for review.

Grounds of Seeking Review Petition

Supreme Court has laid down three grounds on which the review petition can be filed

  1. Mistake or error apparent on the face of the record.
  2. The discovery of new and important matter or evidence which, after the exercise of due diligence, was not within the knowledge of the petitioner or could not be produced by him.
  3. Any other sufficient reason. In the landmark case of Chajju Ram v. Neki, the court specified that “any sufficient reason” means a reason that is analogous to the other two grounds.

Procedure for Review Petition

30 days Time Period

As per the Supreme Court, a review petition must be filed within 30 days of the date of judgment or order.

While a judgment is the final decision in a case, an order is an interim
ruling that is subject to its final verdict. In certain circumstances, the court can condone a delay in filing the review petition if the petitioner can establish strong reasons that justify the delay.

No Oral Arguments

According to the Rules the Review Petition are mostly entertained without any Oral Arguments by Lawyers. The Petition mostly go around and heard by the respective judges in their chambers through circulation. However, the court may allow Oral hearing in exceptional cases.

Supreme Court (2014) held that review petitions in all death penalty cases will be heard in open court by a Bench of three judges.

Same Judges

Review petitions are also heard, as far as practicable, by the same combination of judges who delivered the order or judgment that is sought to be reviewed. If a judge has retired or is unavailable, a replacement is made keeping in mind the seniority of judges.

Who Can File a Review Petition

According to Civil procedure Code a review petition can be filed by any aggrieved person affected by the ruling of the Court. It is also mentioned in rules stated by the Supreme court that it is not necessary that only parties to a case can seek a review of the judgment on it. It can be filed by any person who is not related to the case itself.

Supreme Court has also stated that the it is the discretion of the Court to allow a review petition only when it shows the grounds for seeking the review.

The Option of Curative Petition

In Roopa Hurra v Ashok Hurra (2002), the court itself evolved the concept of a curative petition, which can be heard after a review is dismissed to prevent abuse of its process.

The Court was of the view that SC’s verdict should not result in a miscarriage of justice. However the Curative Petition is also entertained very rarely and not generally granted any oral hearings.