The Supreme Court reiterated that exercise of power of review under Order XLVII Rule 1 Of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) is limited and under the guise of review, the petitioner could not be permitted to re-agitate and reargue questions which had already been addressed and decided by the Court earlier.

The Bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice CT Ravikumar observed that “Even if the judgment sought to be reviewed is erroneous the same cannot be a ground to review the same in exercise of powers under Order 47 Rule 1 CPC. An erroneous order may be subjected to appeal before the higher forum but cannot be a subject matter of review under Order 47 Rule 1 CPC.”

Advocate V. Prabhakar appeared for the appellant and Advocate Haripriya Padmanabhan appeared for the respondent.

The issue before the Apex Court was whether in the facts and circumstances of the case the High Court was justified in allowing the review application filed under Order XLVII Rule 1 CPC and setting aside the reasoned judgment and order passed in main writ petition.

The Apex Court noted that while the impugned judgment in review was passed, the High Court had considered the Survey Report which was already dealt with by the High Court while deciding the main writ petition.

“the High Court has considered the review application as if it was an appeal against the order passed by the High Court in Writ Petition No.8606 of 2010. As observed hereinabove the same is wholly impermissible while deciding the review application.” said the Apex Court.

Further, the Apex Court referred to its decision in the case of Perry Kansagra vs. Smriti Madan Kansagra, (2019) 20 SCC 753 and in Shanti Conductors (P) Ltd. Vs. Assam SEB, (2020) 2 SCC 677 and observed that “the High Court has exceeded in its jurisdiction and has exercised the jurisdiction not vested in it while exercising the review jurisdiction under Order 47 Rule 1 read with Section 114 CPC.”

Principles related to exercise of Review Jurisdiction under Order XLVII Rule 1 of CPC are-

  • "Review proceedings are not by way of appeal and have to be strictly confined to the scope and ambit of Order 47 Rule 1 CPC.
  • Power of review may be exercised when some mistake or error apparent on the fact of record is found. But error on the face of record must be such an error which must strike one on mere looking at the record and would not require any long­drawn process of reasoning on the points where there may conceivably by two opinions.
  • Power of review may not be exercised on the ground that the decision was erroneous on merits.
  • Power of review can also be exercised for any sufficient reason which is wide enough to include a misconception of fact or law by a court or even an advocate.
  • An application for review may be necessitated by way of invoking the doctrine actus curiae neminem gravabit."

Consequently, the impugned judgment in Review Petition was quashed and set aside and the judgment passed in main Writ Petition was restored.

Accordingly, the appeal was allowed.

Cause Title- S. Murali Sundaram v. Jothibai Kannan & Ors.

Click here to read/download the Judgment