Shri Ram Sahu (dead) through Lrs. & Ors. V. Vinod Kumar Rawat & Ors.
CIVIL APPEAL No. 3601 OF 2020 decided on 3rd November,2020
Bench: ASHOK BHUSHAN, M.R. SHAH JJ.
The petitioner in the present case approached the Supreme Court against an order passed by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh. The High Court allowed an application seeking review of its judgment which had contained some observations regarding possession of disputed property. The High Court allowed the review petition observing that as regards the possession of the disputed property the issue of possession was neither raised before the Trial Court nor before the First Appellate Court and even no issue with respect to possession was framed by the Trial Court. Aggrieved by this, the petitioner filed this appeal in Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court considered the following issue:
1. Whether the High Court was justified in allowing review in exercise of powers under Section 114 read with Order 47 Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure?
The Learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants submitted that:
1. While assailing the impugned order passed by the High Court passed in the review application, High Court had exceeded its jurisdiction while exercising the review jurisdiction and has acted beyond the scope and ambit of the review jurisdiction under Order 47 Rule 1 CPC. Hence, the court ought not to have set aside the specific finding given with respect to possession, which finding was based on appreciation of evidence before the learned trial court.
2. Furthermore, the High Court committed grave error in deleting para 20 of the final judgement passed in 2014 in the first Appeal in exercise of its review jurisdiction in as much as, as such, there was no error apparent on the face of the record, which was required to be corrected.
The learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent submitted that:
1. While opposing the submissions of respondent submitted that in facts and circumstances of the case the High Court has not committed an error in deleting para 20 of the judgement dated in 2013 passed in the first appeal while exercising review jurisdiction.
2. No injunction was sought and only injunction against further transfer was sought no issue was framed in respect of possession. It is therefore contended that, in absence of any specific issue framed by the Learned Trial Court in respect of possession of the property and when the suit was dismissed and even thereafter the appeal also came to be dismissed. Thus, the court had an inherent power to correct the error subsequently.
The Supreme Court held that the powers of review under Section 114 read with Order 47 Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure cannot be exercised as an inherent power or an appellate power.
The court observed that the word review implies an act of looking, offer something again with a view to correction. The court remarked that it cannot be denied that review is a creation of statute. The court relying on various case laws held that the power of review is not an inherent power. It must either be conferred by law either specifically or by necessary implication.
The court elaborated the scope of Section 114 of CPC and held that an order can be reviewed by a court only on the prescribed mentioned in Order 47 Rule 1 CPC. An Application for review is more restricted than that of an appeal and the court of review has limited jurisdiction as to the definite limit mentioned in Order 47 Rule 1 CPC itself. The powers of review cannot be exercised as an inherent power nor can an appellate power can be exercised in the guise of power of review.
The Supreme Court held that the High Court had clearly overstepped the jurisdiction vested in the provision and had erred in deleting para 20 in exercise of power under Order 47 Rule 1 CPC. The court held that the High Court committed a grave error and the impugned order is unsustainable. Thus, court ordered to set aside the order and quash it.