The Delhi High Court has disallowed a review petition of the judgement: Stg. Conference of Public Enterprise v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Ors. passed on the 29th of January, 2020. It was contended that a review petition can be allowed only on the grounds laid out in order XLVII that is read with Section 114of Civil Procedure Code (CPC), 1908 and not on the grounds which the petitioner chose not to voice during the hearing of the case.
The grounds of Order XLVII read with Section 114 of CPC are:
As per the Section 114 of CPC- “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 passes the decree or made the order, and the Court may make such order thereon as it thinks fit.”
And as per Rule 1 of Order 47 of CPC:
“(1) Any person considering himself aggrieved by a decree or order from which an appeal is allowed, but from 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, 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 to the Court which passed the decree or made the order.
(2) 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.”
Justice C. Hari Shankar was not impressed with the arguments that were provided in the hearing of the review petition pertaining to the unforseen averments provided by the petitioner in the review petition. The briefing counsel further tried to attribute fault to the Senior counsel who had argued the original case and thus missed mentioning certain important changes.
It was further alleged that the Senior counsel had made his own basis for the contention of the matter to the issues of appropriate government. And not having instructions of the petitioner and briefing counsel to confine the arguments was submitted before the court. And thus, it would be unfair to make the petitioner suffer on this ground.
The Court observed that for the petitioner to blame a respected Senior Counsel is indecent and on the basis that the hearing had been conducted in the presence of a briefing counsel. The briefing counsel's signatory to the application raised a pertinent question about his allegiance when the application averred that despite being instructed, the Senior counsel had not argued the points and put forward his altering narrative.
In response, the Court received some sloppy answers on the behalf of the briefing Counsel who gloriously blamed the Senior Counsel for not adhering to what was instructed to him.
The second challenge was examining the meritorious consideration of the review petition and thus submitting the final remarks.
What the Court observed was that the petitioner did not sought to contend to dispute the validity of the judgement whether it contained any error apparent on the face of record in relation to the grounds that were pressed during the hearing.
Holding the above, the review petition was dismissed by the Court and said it further stated, " The law does not permit this. Consent of counsel cannot empower a court to act in derogation of the law. The right to review is not absolute or inherent and has to be conferred by statute. Where it is so conferred, it has to be exercised within the prescribed statutory circumspection."
A reliance was placed on the judgment of Meera Bhanja v. Normals Kumari Choudhury (1955) 1 SCC 170 that the remark that is lacking originality on any other sufficient reasons has to interpreted of or as of the same kind to the expressions that precede it.
The Court opined that in the present matter, the grounds on which the review petition were based did not conform to any of the requisite criteria and thus dismissal of review petition was seen and a fine of ₹25,000 had been further imposed on the Petitioner.
Author - Dyuti Pandya