18th November, 2022 Polity and Governance
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- The Government of India moved to the Supreme Court seeking a review of the court’s order for freeing all 6 convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
- The Centre has argued that the order suffers from “errors apparent on the face of record”, and that it falls “foul of principles of natural justice”.
- According to the Indian Constitution, any mandate by the Supreme Court of India is final and binding. However, Under Article 137 provided the Supreme Court with the power to review its judgments. This provision forms the legal basis for a “review petition”.
- It is not necessary that only parties related to a case can seek a review of the judgment. Any person aggrieved by a ruling can seek a review.
- A review petition must be filed within 30 days of the court verdict.
- Review petitions are usually not heard in open court. They are heard through “circulation” by judges in their chambers.
- In a Review Petition case, Lawyers usually make their case through written submissions, and not oral arguments.
- The same judges who passed the original verdict generally also hear the review petition.
- There are specific grounds on which a review petition can be accepted in court, but not accepted in case of “minor mistakes”.
- In 1975, the Supreme court mentioned that a review petition can be accepted “only where a glaring omission or patent mistake or like grave error has crept in earlier by judicial fallibility”.
- In 2013, the Supreme Court laid down 3 conditions for accepting a review petition:
- The discovery of new and important matter or evidence which was not within the knowledge of the petitioner or could not be produced by him earlier.
- A mistake or error is apparent on the face of the record.
- Any other sufficient reason.
- It is rare for the Supreme Court to both admit reviews and overturn an original decision in a review.
- It did agree to review its original verdict in the Sabarimala case but refused to review its ruling on the Rafale deal.