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Review Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

Review literally and even judicially means re-examination or re-


consideration on the philosophy that human errors crept sometimes. 1 The
decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court is binding on parties, however,
aggrieved party has remedy to challenge or get it reviewed the order or
judgment passed by Hon’ble Supreme Court in Appellate or Original
Jurisdiction by Hon’ble Supreme Court by filing review petition under
Article 137 of Constitution of India. That ratio decidendi of any case
decided by Supreme Court, in simple words, law declared by Supreme
Court shall be binding on all Courts within the territory of India. There is 30
days period of limitation to file review petition against the order or judgment
passed by Supreme Court under Article 133, 134 or 136 of Constitution of
India.

That as per Order XLVII Rule 1 of Supreme Court Rules 2013, in civil case,
review is permissible on the grounds mentioned in Order XLVII Rule 1 of
CPC, 1908 and in criminal case, review is permissible on the ground of
error apparent on face of record. That as per Order XLVII Rule 1 CPC,
grounds on which review is permissible on the grounds i.e. (i) 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 order made, or (ii) on account of some mistake or error
apparent on the face of the record or (iii) for any other sufficient reason2.
Though it is limited jurisidiction but when sufficient case is made out, then
case under review jurisdiction is made out. It is important to note that the
fact that the decision on a question of law on which the judgement 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 judgement.3 That Hon’ble Supreme Court exercised review
jurisdiction by not sitting in appeal and exercising an appellate jurisdiction
over the earlier decision but it does so in exercise of its inherent power and
only in exceptional circumstances such as when the earlier decision is per

1 [See: S. Nagaraj v. State of Karnataka, 1993 Supp (4) SCC 595]


2 [See Chhajju Ram v. Neki [LR 49 IA 144]
3 [See:Union of India v. Mohd. Nayyar Khalil, (2000) 9 SCC 252]
incuriam or is delivered in the absence of relevant or material facts or if it is
manifestly wrong and productive of public mischief.4 The question was
posed before Hon’ble Supreme Court is whether review is maintainable
against the order passed by Supreme Court for appointment of arbitrator
u/s 11(6) of Constitution of India. The Hon’ble Supreme Court answered in
positive by holding that an order passed by the Chief Justice of India or his
nominee under Section 11(6) of the Act is indeed an “order” within the
meaning of Article 137 of the Constitution and is subject to review under
the aforesaid provision.5

That though it is important to note that there is difference b/w mere


erroneous decision and decision with error apparent which resulting in
miscarriage of justice i.e. judicial error of such height that it cause rights of
parties severally prejudiced. More importantly, error apparent on record
means the error must be one of law not fact, and it must be manifest or
patent and not mere error. It has been explained to include failure to apply
the law of limitation to the fact found by the Court or failure to consider a
particular provision of a statute or a part thereof or a statutory provision
has been applied though it was not in operation. Review is permissible, if
there is an error of procedure apparent on the face of the record e.g. the
judgment is delivered without notice to the parties, or judgment does not
effectively deal with or determine any important issue in the case though
argued by the parties. That power of review cannot be confused with
appellate power which enables a superior Court to correct all errors
committed by a subordinate Court while review jurisdiction is limited
jurisdiction in which power of review can be exercised with extreme care,
caution and circumspection and only in exceptional cases when error crept
in inadvertently or otherwise and it is in the interest of justice, such a
mistake should be rectified.

4 [See: Bengal Immunity Company Ltd. v. State of Bihar [(1955) 2 SCR 603]
5 [See: Jain Studios Ltd. v. Shin Satellite Public Co. Ltd. [(2006) 5 SCC 501]