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It is Universal application of human fallibility behind granting power to review judgments: Supreme Court of India

The basic philosophy inherent in granting the power to the Supreme Court to review its judgment under Article 137 is the universal acceptance of human fallibility. The Supreme Court presided over by J. A. Bhushan & J. I. Malhotra allowing a review petition laid down this ratio in the case of Rajendra Khare Vs. Swaati Nirkhi & Ors., [Review Petition (Crl.) No. 671 of 2018].

The brief facts of this case are that the Supreme Court allowed a Transfer Petition that transferred the Criminal case from the Metropolitan Magistrate Court at New Delhi to Magistrate Court at Allahabad. The person who had filed the FIR was aggrieved by the orders passed in the Transfer Petition and so he filed a Miscellaneous Application in this court which was dismissed he later filed the Review Petition.

The Review-petitioner was of the opinion that he was not impleaded in the in the transfer petition so as to deny him the right to oppose inn the transfer petition. The review petition was opposed on the ground that all the issues raised have been dealt with in the Miscellaneous Application and that the review petition was not maintainable.

The Court was of the opinion that merely because the Petitioner filed a Miscellaneous Application, he was not precluded from filing the present review petition. The Court further observed that, “The rectification of an order emanates from the fundamental principles that justice is above all. In the Constitution, substantive power to rectify or review the order by the Supreme Court has been specifically provided under Article 137 as noted above. The basic philosophy inherent in granting the power to the Supreme Court to review its judgment under Article 137 is the universal acceptance of human fallibility.”

The Court on the non-maintainability of the petition was of the opinion that, “The M.A., which was rejected, was an application to recall the judgment. Grounds for recall of a judgment and grounds to review the judgment can be different. Review is a proceeding, which exists by virtue of the Statute. The M.A. which was rejected was not an application to review under Article 137 as well as Order XLVII Rule 1, thus, by rejection of M.A., it cannot be said that review petition filed by the review petitioner is not maintainable.”

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