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Civil and Criminal Revision Procedure

This article will review the Revision Petition procedure in the Criminal and Civil Procedure Codes. First, we must clarify fundamental differences between Revision, Review, and Appeal to understand the fundamentals of a Revision Petition, as these Legal terms seem the same to Us. However, people use these terms in very different ways for different reasons. Statutory rights give the aggrieved party certain entitlements. Moreover, some are totally up to the court's discretionary power. Let us take a look at these terms.

Revision - In layman's language, we can say, " To improve something that has been decided, one must revise and make changes to it." "Now look at from a legal perspective" To re-examine and re-look at and make corrections if there is some mistake, the lower court's decision. Revision gives a court power to revise the decisions of the subordinate courts if there seems to be some overuse or disuse of the court's jurisdiction.

Review - We can often need clarification on Revision and Review. There is a thin difference when we look at the Review: the discovery of new evidence, error on the face of the record, or the same facts. The same court and judge do it. That Review is the power of a court to re-run or re-examine its judgments if the court realizes that some aspect has been missed or wrongly interpreted.

Appeal- It is the statutory right of the aggrieved party. Matter of right if an individual. Nevertheless, only that judgment mentioned in the code, the right to appeal, can be exercised within the bounds of the Code of Criminal Procedure or any other law in force. The court has discretion in this matter, as it has approached, and it cannot claim it as a matter of right.

Revision Petition procedure under CRPC

Revision is a legal procedure that involves a higher court reviewing an order or decision made by a lower court. The revision aims to identify and correct instances where the lower court may have exercised its judicial power inappropriately. The main goal is to ensure that the lower court operates within the limits of its authority and adheres to established legal principles. In essence, revision is similar to the power of supervision and superintendence. Its purpose is to examine the accuracy, legality, or propriety of any proceedings that have taken place before a lower court.

SECTION 379: Revision is the power of a higher court to order records and facts from a subordinate court. In this case, the higher court has the power to revise the faulty judgment by its subordinate. It is an inter-court provision.

The higher court can call for records of a decree by any subordinate court if it appears that:
  • The lower court has overused jurisdictions.
  • The lower court has disused its jurisdictions.
  • The court has acted unfairly and illegally.

The High Court can not interfere with the functions and procedures of subordinate courts until it is evident and proven that the judgment is capable of causing irrevocable trauma. The court can only correct errors of facts or law once the time decision of the court falls out of its jurisdiction.

  1. Section 397(2): Applies to the interlocutory decree, inquiry, trial, or another proceeding.

    CASE: Amar Nath Vs. State of Haryana[1]
    The Indian Supreme Court has stated that the term "interlocutory order" in Section 397 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 refers to temporary orders that do not determine the crucial rights or liabilities of the parties involved. Suppose an order significantly impacts the accused's rights or decides certain parties' rights. In that case, it cannot be considered an interlocutory order and, therefore, cannot prevent a revision from being filed. In simpler terms, an interlocutory order is a temporary order that does not significantly impact the rights or liabilities of the parties involved.

    CASE: Madhu Limaye Vs. State of Maharashtra[2]
    The Supreme Court of India further observed that the real intention of the legislature was not to equate. The expression interlocutory order is invariably converse of the word's final order. An order passed during a proceeding may still need to be finalized, but it may be something other than an interlocutory, pure, or straightforward order. Some kinds of order may fall in between the two.

    The bar in sub-section (2) of Section 397 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is not meant to be attracted to such interlocutory orders. They may not be final orders for the purposes. Nevertheless, it would not be correct to characterize them as merely interlocutory orders within the meaning of Section 397 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
  2. Section 397(3): If an individual is made an application under High Court, then no Sessions Judge can entertain, and no High Court entertains when the Sessions Judge makes an application.

    CASE: Sanjay Kumar Rai Vs. State of Utter Pradesh & Anr[3]
    It was held that orders framing charges or refusing discharge are neither interlocutory nor final and are, therefore, not affected by the bar of Section 397 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Jurisdiction of Court
According to section 397 of Crpc, the High Court and Sessions Judge can exercise the jurisdiction over the revision petition for Corrections, legality, and propriety. People use these three terms interchangeably, but they have different meanings.

Correction - In essence, it involves evaluating or assessing whether a lower court's ruling adheres to the guidelines established by a higher court, which typically involves referencing previous legal cases as precedents.

Legality - It determines whether the provisions interpret correctly or not.

Propriety - What purpose and rationale behind passing that particular judgment by a subordinate court?

The code confers broad revisional powers; however, they cannot exercise them in exceptional circumstances. The exceptional circumstances are as follows:

SECTION 401: The party cannot bring an appeal in cases where an appeal is allowed. The court cannot entertain revisional proceedings for someone who could have filed an appeal but did not. It applies when interlocutory orders are passed in any appeal or trial. Additionally, when exercising its revisional jurisdiction, the court does not have the authority to change a judgment of acquittal to a judgment of conviction.

A person is entitled to file only one application for revision in either the court of the session or the High Court. Once a person has applied for revision, he cannot file any other application in any court of law.

Section 397 and section 401 read with Section 482 CrPC
CASE: Dhariwal Tobacco Products Ltd vs. State of Maharashtra[4]
In essence, the Supreme Court ruled that the mere availability of another legal option, namely the criminal revision under Section 397 of the CrPC, does not justify the rejection of an application made under Section 482 of the CrPC.

CASE: Mohit alias Sonu v. State of Uttar Pradesh[5]
On the other hand, a conflicting view was taken that if an order being contested is not interlocutory and can be revised by the High Court, then the use of the court's inherent jurisdiction should be prohibited. Due to this disagreement, the matter was referred to the Honorable Chief Justice to refer it to a larger bench.

Civil Revision Procedure under CPC

Section 115 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, governs the revisional jurisdiction of High Courts in civil matters. The term "case decided" was previously defined in the CPC. However, an explanation was added after the Amendment Act of 1976 to clarify that the "case which decided" encompasses any order or resolution of an issue during a lawsuit or legal proceedings. It is important to note that only the High Court can issue a stay order in any suit or proceed with Revision.

Section 115 [6]of the CPC lays down the conditions for Revision,
  • which include situations where a subordinate court has either exercised a jurisdiction not authorized by law or
  • failed to exercise its jurisdiction as authorized by law. Additionally, if the subordinate court has acted illegally or with material irregularity in the exercise of its jurisdiction, the affected party may seek relief by approaching a higher court.

  1. The High Court has discretionary power in exercising revisional jurisdiction, but certain exceptions exist. For instance, the High Court cannot exercise revisional jurisdiction if the order, if made in favor of the party applying for the revision, would have already finally disposed of the case.
  2. Additionally, the High Court cannot exercise revisional jurisdiction over any order or decree that can be appealed to the High Court or any lower court.

CASE: Rajaram Nathu Ji Pathode v. Maniran Samantha Kose[7]
The court ruled that a mistake in judgment or deviation from the law is not necessarily considered an illegal or irregular action that would warrant the High Court's revisional power unless the lower court exceeded its jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction of civil courts
The High Court has the authority to request the case file of any case decided by a lower court and for which there is no option for an appeal to the High Court. If the lower court has acted beyond its legal jurisdiction, failed to carry out its legal duties, or acted illegally or irregularly, the High Court may review the case.

Interlocutory order
It is the order which is decided by the Court when meanwhile proceeding is going on. It is temporary and interim. Which does not decide or touch the fundamental rights of the liabilities of the parties. Any order that substantially affects the accused's rights or decides certain parties' rights cannot be said to be an interlocutory order to bar a revision.

Orders which are matters of moment and which affect or adjudicate the rights of the accused or a particular aspect of the trial cannot be said to be interlocutory orders outside the purview of the revisional jurisdiction. The order gives temporary or interim relief that does not affect the parties' rights. It is not a final verdict of the Court.

Example: In domestic violence cases, where these types of cases take a long time to settle down in these cases, the Interlocutory order is passed by the Court in the form of interim maintenance. Interim maintenance is to ensure that the wife and the children are not put to starvation,

CASE: Manoj Kumar Agarwal State of UP[8]
The High Court ruled that when a Magistrate grants pardon and remand the accused to custody order under 306 or 307, it is considered an interlocutory order that cannot be revised. In other words, the High Court determined that such an order is temporary and does not decide or affect the fundamental rights or liabilities of the parties involved and, therefore, cannot be revised.

Difference between Review and Revision

Parameter Of Comparison Review Revision
Definition A review is a process of revisiting and reconsidering a case that has already been decided by the court that originally heard it. The concept of revision involves the authority of a higher-level court to review and modify the decision made by a lower-level court.
Section Section 114 of CPC and article 137 of the constitution. Section 115 of CPC
Types of Appeal This refers to a legal action that can only be filed within the same court where the original decree was issued. It cannot be filed in any other court. This refers to a legal procedure where a higher court reviews and evaluates the decision made by a lower court. It is known as an inter-court provision because it involves filing a complaint or appeal against the ruling of one court in another court that has higher authority.
Applicability To file a review petition, it is necessary that either no appeal has been filed previously or the judgment in question does not permit an appeal. A Revision petition is submitted when a lower court has misused its authority.
Grounds If any new evidence is found or if there is a mistake in interpreting a fact, the court will consider a review. This refers to situations where a lower court issues a ruling that is uneven, improper, or unfair.
Limitation If someone wishes to file a Review petition, they must do so within 30 days of the court's ruling being issued. In order to file a Revision petition, it is required to do so within 90 days from the date of the court's decree.

It is the right of an individual to be heard before the Court. As in law, no right is the absolute right. The state can impose reasonable restrictions on them. However, the reasonability of the restrictions is decided by the courts. So, always up to the discretionary power of the courts to decide whether to consider the hearing of the matter.

A revision petition gives power to the High Court to maintain its supervision of the subordinate Court to ensure that proceedings are conducted within the boundaries of their jurisdiction and in the furtherance of justice by the law. And it is allowed both High Court and Sessions Judge a chance to rectify the mistake or error conducted by the subordinate due to which the party may be suffering. It gives a chance to the High Court the to prevail justice.

The maintenance of justice is essential for every Democratic society; in countries like India, which is developing, where the Constitution and interpretation of provisions and statutes by the judiciary are very for better smoothing of the legal system. The Court's verdict is essential in sustaining an individual's fundamental rights.

Where some error is made by the Court which does not prevail, justice can be re-looked or re-examined by the Court, with the power vested in the Constitution to Court. Inherently power is given to High Court in articles 226 and 227. The High Court has the power to remove any remarks made by itself or a lower court regarding the behavior of a person or office if it is necessary to prevent the misuse of the court's process or to ensure justice is served. This power should not be used lightly and only exercised in exceptional circumstances.

  1. (1977) 4 SCC 137. 30. AIR 1967 SC 799 (India).
  2. (1977) 4 SCC 551 (India).
  3. 2021 Criminal Appeal No. 472/2021 (India).
  4. 2008 criminal appeal no. 2055 OF 2007 (India).
  5. 2013 AIR 2013 SC 2248 (India).
  6. Section 15 re-numbered as sub-section (1) of that section by act 104 of 1976, sec 43 (w.e.f. 1-feb-1977).
  7. AIR 1975 Bom 1 (India).
  8. 1995 CriLJ 646 (India).

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Sandhya Pant and
Dr.Vivek Kumar,
Asst professors of the ICFAI University Dehradun
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: AP346512089140-9-0423

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