Review of an order of a Court lies under S. 114 of CPC. The said Section 114
CPC is reproduced as under:
Section 114. 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 passed the decree or made the order, and the Court may make such order thereon as it thinks fit.
Before proceeding further, it would be trite to reproduce Order 47 Rule 1-
Review as it appears in CPC which set out the grounds available for filing a
review application against a judgment/order reads as under:
Rule 1: Application for review of judgment:
Any person considering himself aggrieved:
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 of the Court which passed the decree or made the order.
- by a decree or order from which an appeal is allowed, but from which 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,
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.
The fact that the decision on a question of law on which the
judgment of the Court is based has been reversed or modified by the subsequent
decision of a superior court in any other case, shall not be a ground for the
review of such judgment."
Before deliberating further, it would be appropriate to understand the
connotation of the term Review. In simple words, 'Review' of an order, as the
very name suggests, means to reconsider/rethink or re-examine/re-evaluate the
existing order/judgment. In legal terminology, the term "review" refers to a
court's re-examination of a previous decision.
It is relevant that Review is
filed before the same judge/ same court which had passed the order. Any party to
the case, who is dissatisfied by an order or decree from which no appeal lies or
wherein an appeal lies but it chooses not to file the same may file a review
petition, if the necessary conditions exist.
From the perusal of the aforesaid provisions, it transpires that a review application would be maintainable only on fulfillment of the following conditions:
- discovery of new and important matters or evidence which, after exercise of due diligence, were not within the knowledge of the applicant or could not be produced by him when the decree was passed or the order made;
- on account of some mistake or error apparent on the face of the record; or
- for any other sufficient reason.
The Apex Court in the case of Thungabhadra Industries Ltd. v. Govt. of A.P
SCR (5) 174 held thus:
11. What, however, we are now concerned with is whether the statement in the
order of September 1959 that the case did not involve any substantial question
of law is an 'error apparent on the face of the record'. The fact that on the
earlier occasion the Court held on an identical state of facts that a
substantial question of law arose would not per se be conclusive, for the
earlier order itself might be erroneous.
Similarly, even if the statement was wrong, it would not follow that it was an
'error apparent on the face of the record', for there is a distinction which is
real, though it might not always be capable of exposition, between a mere
erroneous decision and a decision which could be characterized as vitiated by
'error apparent'. 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 would be apropos to refer to the case of Sow Chandra Kante and Another v.
Sheikh Habib(1975) 1 SCC 674 wherein the Apex Court categorically observed thus:
''A review of a judgment is a serious step and reluctant resort to it is proper
only where a glaring omission or patent mistake or like grave error has crept in
earlier by judicial fallibility. � The present stage is not a virgin
ground but review of an earlier order which has the normal feature of finality."
It would be trite to refer to Col. Avatar Singh Sekhon v. Union of India and
1980 Supp SCC 562 wherein the Apex Court observed that a review of an
earlier order cannot be done unless the court is satisfied that the material
error which is manifest on the face of
the order, would result in miscarriage of justice or undermine its soundness.
The Court succinctly observed as under:
12. A review is not a routine procedure. Here we resolved to hear Shri Kapil at
length to remove any feeling that the party has been hurt without being heard.
But we cannot review our earlier order unless satisfied that material error,
manifest on the face of the order, undermines its soundness or results
in miscarriage of justice.
It would be appropriate to refer to Meera Bhanja v. Nirmala Kumari Choudhury
(1995) 1 SCC 170 wherein following Aribam Tuleshwar Sharma v. Aribam Pishak
Sharma (1979) 4 SCC 389 the Apex Court reiterated that review proceedings are
not by way of an appeal and have to be strictly confined to the scope and ambit
of Order 47 Rule 1 CPC.
In the case of Parsion Devi and Others v. Sumitri Devi and Others
(1997) 8 SCC
715, the Apex Court held that an error that is not self- evident and has to be
detected by the
process of reasoning, cannot be described as an error apparent on the face of
the record. In such a case the Court would not be obliged to exercise the powers
of review. The Court held thus:
7. It is well settled that review proceedings have to be strictly confined to
and scope of Order 47 Rule 1 CPC.
It would be relevant to refer to the case of Lily Thomas, Etc. Etc. vs Union Of
India & Ors.(2000) 6 SCC 224, wherein the Apex Court held that an error referred
to under the Rule, must be apparent on the face of the record and not one which
has to be searched out. The Court discussed the scope and ambit of Article 137
that empowers The Supreme Court to review its judgments and the contours of
review jurisdiction under Order 47 Rule 1 of the CPC and held thus:
53. The dictionary meaning of the word "review" is "the act of looking; offer
something again with a view to correction or improvement. It cannot be denied
that the review is the creation of a statute. This Court in Patel Narshi
Thakersh and Ors. v. Pradyunman singh ji Arjun singh ji
AIR 1970 SC 1273 held
that the power of review is not an inherent power. It must be conferred by law
either specifically or by necessary implication.
The review is also not an
appeal in disguise. If cannot be denied that justice is a virtue which
transcends all barriers and the rules or procedures or technicalities of law
cannot stand in the way of administration of Justice. Law has to bend before
Justice. If the Court finds that the error pointed out in the review petition
was under a mistake and the earlier judgment would not have been passed but for
erroneous assumption which in fact did not exist and its perpetration shall
result in miscarriage of justice nothing would preclude the Court from
rectifying the error.
This Court in S. Nagaraj and Ors etc. v. State of
Karnataka and Anr.
etc. 1993 Supp.(4) SCC 595 held:
Review literally and even judicially means re-examination or reconsideration.
Basic philosophy inherent in it is the universal acceptance of human
fallibility. Yet in the realm of law the courts and even the statutes lean
strongly in favour of finality of decision legally and properly made.
both statutorily and judicially have been carved out to correct accidental
mistakes or miscarriage of justice. Even when there was no statutory provision
and no rules were framed by the highest court indicating the circumstances in
which it could rectify its order the courts culled out such power to avoid abuse
of process or miscarriage of justice.
In Raja Prithwi Chand Law Choudhury v.
the Court observed that even though no rules had been framed
permitting the highest Court to review its order yet it was available on the
limited and narrow ground developed by the Privy Council and the House of Lords.
The Court approved the principle laid down by the Privy Council in Rajunder
Narain Rae v. Bijai Govind Singh
(1836) 1 Moo PC 117 that an order made by the
Court was final and could not be altered:
...nevertheless, if by misprision in embodying the judgments, by errors have
been introduced, these Courts possess, by Common Law, the same power which the
Courts of record and statute have of rectifying the mistakes which have crept
in....The House of Lords exercises a similar power of rectifying mistakes made
in drawing up its own judgments, and this Court must possess the same authority.
The Lords have however gone a step further, and have corrected mistakes
introduced through inadvertence in the details of judgments; or have supplied
manifest defects in order to enable the decrees to be enforced, or have added
explanatory matter, or have reconciled inconsistencies. Basis for exercise of
the power was stated in the same decision as under:
It is impossible to doubt that the indulgence extended in such cases is mainly
owing to the natural desire prevailing to prevent irremediable injustice being
done by a Court of last resort, where by some accident, without any blame, the
party has not been heard and an order has been inadvertently made as if the
party had been heard.
Rectification of an order thus stems from the fundamental principle that justice
is above all. It is exercised to remove the error and not for disturbing
finality. When the Constitution was framed the substantive power to rectify or
recall the order passed by this Court was specifically provided by Article 137
of the Constitution.
Our Constitution makers who had the practical wisdom to visualise the efficacy of such provision expressly conferred the substantive
power to review any judgment or order by Article 137 of the Constitution. And
Clause (c) of Article 145 permitted this Court to frame rules as to the
conditions subject to which any judgment or order may be reviewed. In exercise
of this power Order XL had been framed empowering this Court to review an order
in civil proceedings on grounds analogous to Order XL VII Rule 1 of the Civil
The expression, 'for any other sufficient reason' in the clause
has been given an expanded meaning and a decree or order passed under
misapprehension of true state of circumstances has been held to be sufficient
ground to exercise the power. Apart from Order XL Rule 1 of the Supreme Court
Rules this Court has the inherent power to make such orders as may be necessary
in the interest of justice or to prevent the abuse of process of Court. The
Court is thus not precluded from recalling or reviewing its own order if it is
satisfied that it is necessary to do so for sake of justice.
The mere fact that two views on the same subject are possible is no ground to
review the earlier judgment passed by a Bench of the same strength.
54. This Court in MJs Northern India Caterers (India) Ltd. v. Lt. Governor of
1980 AIR 674 considered the powers of this Court under Article 137 of the
Constitution read with Order 47 Rule 1 CPC and Order 40 Rule 1 of the Supreme
Court Rules and held:
It is well settled that a party is not entitled to seek a review of a judgment
delivered by this Court merely for the purpose of a rehearing and a fresh
decision of the case. The normal principle is that a judgment pronounced by the
Court is final, and departure from that principle is justified only when
circumstances of a substantial and compelling character make it necessary to do
so. Sajjan Singh v. State of Rajasthan
For instance, if the attention of the
Court is not drawn to a material statutory provision during the original
hearing. G.L Gupta v. D.N. Mehta
. The Court may also reopen its judgment if a
manifest wrong has been done and it is necessary to pass an order to do full and
effective justice ON Mohindroo v. Dist. Judge, Delhi
Power to review its
judgments has been conferred on the Supreme Court by Article 137 of the
Constitution, and that power is subject to the provisions of any law made by
Parliament or the rules made under Article
145. In a civil proceeding, an application for review is entertained only on a
ground mentioned in O. XLVII, Rule 1 of the CPC and in a criminal proceeding on
the ground of an error apparent on the face of the record. (Order XL, R.1,
Supreme Court Rules, 1966). But whatever the nature of the proceeding, it is
beyond dispute that a review proceeding cannot be equated with the original
hearing of the case, and the finality of the judgment delivered by the Court
will not be reconsidered except where a glaring omission or patent mistake or
like grave error has crept in earlier by judicial fallibility'."
The scope of Review differs between Civil and Criminal proceedings. It is
relevant that review in a criminal proceeding is permissible only on the ground
of error apparent on the face of the record. This Court in P.N. Eswara Iyer and
others v. Registrar
, Supreme Court of India, (1980) 4 SCC 680 while examining
the review jurisdiction of this Court vis a vis criminal and civil proceedings
had made the following observations in paras 34 and 35:
34. The rule, on its face, affords a wider set of grounds for review for orders
in civil proceedings, but limits the ground vis�a�vis criminal proceedings to
"errors apparent on the face of the record". If at all, the concern of the law
to avoid judicial error should be heightened when life or liberty is in peril
since civil penalties are often less traumatic. So, it is reasonable to assume
that the framers of the rules could not have intended a restrictive review over
criminal orders or judgments.
It is likely to be the other way about. Supposing
an accused is sentenced to death by the Supreme Court and the "deceased" shows
up in court and the court discovers the tragic treachery of the recorded
testimony. Is the court helpless to review and set aside the sentence of
We think not. The power to review is in Article 137 and it is equally
wide in all proceedings. The rule merely canalises the flow from the reservoir
of power. The stream cannot stifle the source. Moreover, the dynamics of
interpretation depend on the demand of the context and the lexical limits of the
Here "record" means any material which is already on record or may, with the
permission of the court, be brought on record. If justice summons the Judges to
allow a vital material in, it becomes part of the record; and if apparent error
is there, correction becomes necessitous.
35. The purpose is plain, the language is elastic and interpretation of a
necessary power must naturally be expansive. The substantive power is derived
from Article 137 and is as wide for criminal as for civil proceedings. Even the
difference in phraseology in the rule (Order 40 Rule 2) must, therefore, be read
to encompass the same area and not to engraft an artificial divergence
productive of anomaly.
If the expression "record" is read to mean, in its semantic sweep, any material
even later brought on record, with the leave of the court, it will embrace
subsequent events, new light and other grounds which we find in Order 47 Rule 1,
CPC. We see no insuperable difficulty in equating the area in civil and criminal
proceedings when review power is invoked from the same source.
The scope of review jurisdiction has been considered by this Court in a number
of cases where well settled principles have been reiterated time and again. It
is sufficient to refer to judgment of this Court in Kamlesh Verma vs. Mayawati
(2013) 8 SCC 320, where this Court has elaborately considered the
scope of review. In paras 17, 18, 20.1 and 20.2 following has been laid down:
17. In a review petition, it is not open to the Court to reappreciate the
evidence and reach a different conclusion, even if that is possible. Conclusion
arrived at on appreciation of evidence cannot be assailed in a review petition
unless it is shown that there is an error apparent on the face of the record or
for some reason akin thereto. This Court in Kerala SEB v. Hitech Electrothermics
& Hydropower Ltd
. held as under: (SCC p. 656, para 10)
10. � In a review petition it is not open to this Court to reappreciate the
evidence and reach a different conclusion, even if that is possible. The learned
counsel for the Board at best sought to impress us that the correspondence
exchanged between the parties did not support the conclusion reached by this
Court. We are afraid such a submission cannot be permitted to be advanced in a
review petition. The appreciation of evidence on record is fully within the
domain of the appellate court.
If on appreciation of the evidence produced, the court records a finding of fact
and reaches a conclusion, that conclusion cannot be assailed in a review
petition unless it is shown that there is an error apparent on the face of the
record or for some reason akin thereto. It has not been contended before us that
there is any error apparent on the face of the record. To permit the review
petitioner to argue on a question of appreciation of evidence would amount to
converting a review petition into an appeal in disguise.
18. Review is not rehearing of an original matter. The power of review cannot be
confused with appellate power which enables a superior court to correct all
errors committed by a subordinate court. A repetition of old and overruled
argument is not enough to reopen concluded adjudications.
This Court in Jain
Studios Ltd. v. Shin Satellite Public Co. Ltd
., held as under: (SCC pp. 504�505,
paras 11�12) "11. So far as the grievance of the applicant on merits is
concerned, the learned counsel for the opponent is right in submitting that
virtually the applicant seeks the same relief which had been sought at the time
of arguing the main matter and had been negatived. Once such a prayer had been
refused, no review petition would lie which would convert rehearing of the
It is settled law that the power of review cannot be confused
with appellate power which enables a superior court to correct all errors
committed by a subordinate court. It is not rehearing of an original matter. A
repetition of old and overruled argument is not enough to reopen concluded
adjudications. The power of review can be exercised with extreme care, caution
and circumspection and only in exceptional cases."
The same view was reiterated by the Apex Court in Vinay Sharma vs The State
N.C.T. Of Delhi on 9 July, 2018 (2018) 8 SCC 186.
Article 137 empowers this Court to review its judgments subject to the
provisions of any law made by Parliament or any rules made under Article 145 of
the Constitution. The Supreme Court. Rules made in exercise of the powers under
Article 145 of the Constitution prescribe that in civil cases, review lies on
any of the ground specified in Order 47 Rule 1 of the CPC which provides:
Application for review of judgment:
- Any person considering himself aggrieved:
- by a decree or order from which an appeal is allowed, but from which, no appeal has been preferred.
- by a decree of 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 of order made against him, may apply for a review of judgment to the Court which passed the decree or made the order.
Under Order 40 Rule 1 of the Supreme Court Rules no review lies except on the
ground of error apparent on the face of the record in criminal cases. Order 40
Rule 5 of the Supreme Court Rules provides that after an application for review
has been disposed of no further application shall be entertained in the same
Next it needs to be discussed the legal connotation of the phrase 'any other
sufficient reasons' used in Order XLVII Rule 1 of the CPC. The words 'any other
sufficient reason' means a reason sufficient on the ground at least analogous to
those specified in the rule.
This Court in Moran Mar Basselios Catholicos vs. Most Rev. Mar Paulose
AIR 1954 SC 526 have held that words must mean "a reason
sufficient on grounds, at least analogous to those specified in the Rule".
Shri Ram Sahu (Dead) Through Lrs vs Vinod Kumar Rawat
on 3 November, 2020
reported in 2020 SCC OnLine SC 896.The same principles have been reiterated in
Union of India v. Sandur Manganese & Iron Ores Ltd
.(2013) 8 SCC 337.
Thus, it is undisputable that under Order 47 Rule 1 CPC a judgment can be
reviewed if there is a mistake or an error apparent on the face of the record.
The Courts have categorically held that an error which is not self-evident and
has to be detected by a process of reasoning, cannot be said to be an error
apparent on the face of the record justifying the court to exercise its power of
review under Order 47 Rule 1 CPC.
In exercise of this jurisdiction under Order 47 rule 1 CPC it is not permissible
for an erroneous decision to be 'reheard and corrected'. It is relevant that a
review petition has a limited purpose and cannot be allowed to be 'an appeal in
Written By: Inder Chand Jain
Ph no: 8279945021, Email: [email protected]