Understanding the Concept of Review Petition

Review Petition Law Insider

By Paromita Maitra

Published on: March 23, 2022 at 10:00 IST


Committing error is a part of human life. Judges are people, too. As a result, they’re not immune to this type of behavior.

In the course of his duties, a judge can sometimes make a mistake. The Rights of Appeal Review and Revision have been Part of the Law for Centuries.

These measures are key steps in the effort to eliminate or reduce Judicial Errors. Because one of the motivations for the creation of law was to protect the Public’s Rights.

As a result, the existence of law is rendered meaningless when a lawsuit’s verdict is incorrect.

In circumstances where they have been harmed, people seek legal protection. However, when the law fails to offer shelter, the person becomes helpless and loses faith in the law.

As a result, it is a widespread concept that the law should not be misunderstood. However, it is quite difficult to avoid making blunders.

As a result, options for Appeal, Review and Revision were created.

Review: Meaning of the term in the Legal World

The term ‘Review’ refers to a court’s re-examination of its own decisions, the examination of any government law, or the inspection of any administrative organization’s act; it corrects an error in an act, judgement, or legislation.

The major objective of this statute, according to many leading legal philosophers and luminaries, is to defend people’s rights because court judgements are faulty, not always, but sometimes.

The Court may overturn the decision or make appropriate revisions during the review procedure.

The Indian constitution includes sufficient Review provisions to make the Concepts of Justice more efficient.

Article 32 offers an individual’s right to knock on the door of the Supreme Court if his Fundamental Right has been infringed or violated, and authorizes the Supreme Court to issue instructions or Writs.

Also read: What is the Fundamental Right to get Legal Remedy?

The Parliament can also give any other court the authority to exercise the Supreme Court’s powers.

It permits an individual to bypass the lengthy and expensive legal process and file a lawsuit directly with the Supreme Court if his basic right is violated.

As a result, any law or act of the Government that infringes on an individual’s basic right shall be enforced under this Article.

A person whose fundamental rights have been violated can file a complaint with the High Court, according to this Article.

Any government, individual, or organization can receive a directive from the High Court. The High Court protects Fundamental Rights and provides the basis for Judicial Review.

Also read: When Fundamental Rights can be suspended?

It has supremacy over other Courts or Tribunals within its Jurisdiction, according to Article 227 of the Indian Constitution (i.e., the Courts that lie in its territory).

Under this article, the High Court can give directives to the Lower Courts, and the Lower Courts must follow them.

Articles 226 and 227 of the Indian Constitution grant the High Court the authority of revision.

Also read: Supreme Court of India and High courts

One of the most fundamental aspects of ensuring justice is review, and this notion is practically universal in democratic countries.

An individual can use review to guarantee that his rights are not being violated by any Government Act, law, or Judicial error.

The concept of total Justice and Separation of Powers is actually held together through review, and this function serves as the backbone of democracy.

If the Judicial process did not include a system of review, the government’s laws would not be susceptible to judicial scrutiny or review, and the entire Judicial Process would be rendered useless.

The Notion of Judicial Review ensures that total justice is upheld. This approach has been applied by the Supreme Court and the High Court in major decisions such as

Also read: Power of High Courts to Make Rules

Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan,

In which the Supreme Court established the famous Vishaka Guidelines.

The Supreme Court/High Court’s binding rulings can be reviewed through a Review Petition.

In general, due to stare decisis (the legal idea of deciding matters in dispute based on precedent), Courts will not overturn a decision unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

As a result, this review provision is an exception to the legal concept of Stare Decisis.

The Supreme Court of India has the ability under Article 137 of the Constitution to Review any Decision it has issued (or orders it has issued) pursuant to Article 145 of the Constitution.

The concept of Judicial Review is one of the most crucial components of sustaining human rights, as it makes Fundamental Rights such as the right to life, the right to free speech and expression, and the freedom to practice any religion enforceable.

Only the procedure of judicial review can be used to challenge the government’s or any other Legal Entity’s Violation of these Rights in Court.

As a result, it has become an inseparable part of the legal system.

The notion also aids in maintaining the boundaries of a State’s Organizations, such as Courts or Government Agencies, and ensuring that they do not overstep their Authority.

The concept of Judicial Review is one of the most crucial components of sustaining human rights, as it makes fundamental rights such as the right to life, the Right to free speech and expression, and the freedom to practice any religion enforceable.

Only the procedure of judicial review can be used to challenge the government’s or any other legal entity’s violation of these Rights in Court.

As a result, it has become an inseparable part of the legal system.

The notion also aids in maintaining the boundaries of a state’s organizations, such as Courts or Government agencies, and ensuring that they do not overstep their authority.

The Indian constitution divides judicial review into three categories, which are:

  • Judicial examination of constitutional amendments– The Supreme Court can examine the amendment to ensure that it does not contradict any fundamental rights or the constitution’s essential framework.

Kesavananda Bharati v. Union of India is the most famous case in this category.

  • Judicial Review of legislation enacted by Parliament, State legislatures, and Subordinate legislation– The Court can review legislation to ensure that it does not infringe fundamental rights, and it is mostly used to check legislative constraints.

The Supreme Court of India ruled that the President’s order in situations of Mercy Petitions cannot be challenged in Court.

  • Judicial review of the Union of India’s administrative actions, as well as the actions of State Governments and authorities that fall under the definition of State-owned enterprises.- The administrative functions of both the Union and the State government’s can be checked through the Judicial Review process.

In terms of Judicial review, Presidential pardon is also a significant role of the Indian court system.

On the basis of morality and mercy, the President has the power to commute a person’s death sentence. This procedure entails a review by the President, which is totally in his hands.

The Supreme Court of India ruled in Kehar Singh v. Union of India that the president’s order in cases of mercy petitions cannot be overturned.

Also read: Pardoning power of Governor

Nature, Scope, and Goals

Judicial review allows a person to enforce a Right that has been ignored by Administrative or Judicial bodies.

The Court will examine the law of the act rather than the merits during the judicial review procedure.

If it finds a violation of any dominant legislation throughout the review process, it will overturn the decision.

If the Court finds that a piece of legislation approved by Parliament, a Government Act, or an order issued by a Lower Court is unconstitutional or Violates the Natural Justice principle, it can be overturned.

As part of the process of defending fundamental rights, the High Court and Supreme Court can also issue Writs if the circumstances require it.

The goal of this method is to make review a weapon for ensuring comprehensive justice and enforcing an individual’s fundamental rights.

The goal is to keep an eye on how the legislature works in order to ensure that the legislation they pass are constitutional or legal.

The act assures that the legislature’s laws have passed the constitutional litmus test. Another goal of this regulation is to correct legal errors created during the delivery of verdicts.

Cases in which Review is required

  • Non-appealable cases– Non-appealable cases are those in which the harmed party is denied a right or an appeal is denied due to incompetence or the passage of time. As a result, the party who has suffered can file for review.
  • Where an appeal exists but is not favored In circumstances where an appeal exists but is not preferred by the party, the party can petition for a review, but the review cannot be against the order because that would delve into facts that the Courts do not consider.

When a party has already filed an appeal with the Court that is now pending, the Petition for review will not be considered by the court.

Grounds of Reviewing cases

  • When new evidence or information becomes available- that is relevant to the case but was not previously known to the concerned party, that person can successfully request a review.

The burden of proof, on the other hand, is on the individual who is being sued to show that at the time of the verdict, he was fully unconscious of any facts or evidence that could have influenced the decision.

The mere fact that the interested party was unaware of any other case’s ruling that might have influenced the decision would not be taken into account by the court for review.

  • Error on the face of the record– A prima facie error that is obvious without a legal study of the judgement can only be considered for appeal on this basis.

The error or blunder could be either a legal or a factual blunder.

  • Other sufficient reason– This ground of evaluation has given the reviewing procedure a very broad scope.

The Supreme Court ruled in Chajju Ram v. Neki that the sufficient cause must be connected to the other two grounds in the simplest way feasible. The mere fact that the court overlooked an important fact is insufficient to establish this foundation.

Person Eligible to Request a Review

Under Rule 1 order 47 of the CPC, any individual who believes he or she has been deprived of Rights or has been aggravated by the law or the rule of law can seek a review.

Alternatively, in non-appealable circumstances, where the harmed party has no right to appeal when an appeal is denied due to incompetence or because it is time-barred, the harmed party can seek for review.

In circumstances when the benefit of an appeal exists but the Party does not prefer it, the Party may Petition for a review, but the review must not be against the order because that would involve the merits, which the Courts do not consider.

When a party has already filed an Appeal with the Court that is now pending, the Court will not consider the Petition for review.

The Court’s jurisdiction to review cannot be questioned under law if the review petition is filed first and the appeal is filed later.

Review of Suo motto

Sua sponte or Suo motu (on its own motion) is a legal term that refers to an act of authority taken without the request of the other party.

This word refers to actions done by a court without the need for a motion or application from the parties. It is well knowledge that, even if the application is subject to time constraints, the Court has the right to correct its own errors Suo moto.

The issue of limitation does not exclude a solution when inherent powers are used. In the interest of justice, decision-making authorities can be given Suo motu review powers.

If there are compelling reasons to review a ruling, there is no reason why the Court should be prevented from doing so.

Kulbhushan Yadav Case

Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested by Pakistani security services in Balochistan province in March 2016 after apparently entering from Iran. In April 2017, a Pakistani military court ordered him to death on allegations of espionage and terrorism.

Kulbhushan Jadhav is not a spy, according to India, and Pakistan should give him counsellor access because his case involves abduction from Iranian territory. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) suspended his execution sentence on May 9, 2018, after India filed a plea with the UN to demand justice for him, arguing that Pakistan had infringed the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

During a hearing in the case in February 2019, India stated that Pakistan’s continuing detention of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav without access to consular services should be ruled “unlawful,” as it constituted a flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention.

Harish Salve, who is representing India and Kulbhushan Jadhav at the International Court of Justice, said Pakistan was using the Kulbhushan Jadhav case as a “propaganda tool” without following right protocol.

Consular Access

Under the terms of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, India has requested consular access to Jadhav.

The Vienna Convention on Consular Contacts is an international convention that establishes the rules for consular relations between sovereign governments.

A consul (not a diplomat) is a representative of a Foreign State in a host country who represents his Country men’s interests.

Foreign citizens who are arrested or imprisoned in the host country must be informed immediately of their right to have their embassy or consulate notified of their detention, according to Article 36 of the Vienna Convention.

If the detained Foreign Citizen requests it, the Police must fax the notice to the embassy or consulate, which can then confirm the person’s identity.

The Consular Notice can be as simple as a fax, including the person’s name, the location of arrest, and, if necessary, some information about the basis for the arrest or incarceration.

The ICJ’s decision, which favored Jadhav, stated, ” Pakistan must Provide, by means of its own choosing, effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav’s conviction and sentence,” in order to ensure that the effect of the Violation of the Rights set forth in Article 36 of the Vienna Convention is given full weight.

The Court also ordered Pakistan to grant India consular access. Pakistan had denied India access to Jadhav while he was detained, as well as the ability to arrange for his legal representation.

Even Jadhav’s confession, which Pakistan had held up, was not considered legitimate because Pakistan had not provided him with Legal Representation.

Pakistan has contended that the law gave Jadhav the Right to Appeal his conviction.

The International Court of Justice’s judgement, however, stated, “Pakistan must afford effective review and reconsideration” of the punishment.

According to Irfan, Pakistan would enact the International Court of Justice Review and Reconsideration Ordinance in May 2020.

The law set a 60-day deadline for Jadhav, his family, or the Indian high commission in Islamabad to file an appeal. On June 17, Jadhav was invited to file a plea for review, but he declined.

He was also offered aid with legal representation, which Jadhav declined. His failure to submit a review Petition fits in nicely with Pakistan’s desired narrative.

Pakistan alleged in Court that Jadhav had waived his right to legal representation.

However, his choice to waive the Review Petition, thereby squandering the gains of a hard-won win at the International Court of Justice, as well as Pakistan’s plan to hold a special press conference to announce the decision only days before the deadline, raise major concerns.

Even Nevertheless, consular access to Jadhav was not easy, despite the ICJ’s unambiguous directive. Despite worries about how it was delivered, India finally accepted the invitation to consular access in September.

Also read: When can a Foreign Citizen seek refuge in India?


In conclusion, the term ‘Review’ refers to a re-examination or re-consideration of a case that has already been determined by the Court.

The party who is dissatisfied with the Court’s decision or order may file a Review Petition with the Court to have the order re-examined.

The order could be re-examined by the Judges who issued it previously. Depending on the material of facts in the case, the Review Petition may be admitted or dismissed.

The Petition for review can be filed in both the Supreme Court and the High Courts. The Court can dismiss the review petition by providing both parties with an opportunity to be heard.

If the Court finds no error on the face of the record, the Review Petition may be dismissed.

Edited by: Advocate Komal Sharma, Publishing Editor at Law Insider

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