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The inherent power under Section 482 CrPC cannot be used by the High Court to reopen or alter an order disposing of a petition decided on merits : Tripura High Court

The Tripura High Court in the case of Ramendra Kishore Bhattacharjee vs Smt. Madhurima Bhattacharjee (Crl.Petn.No.53 of 2021) upheld that the inherent power under Section 482 CrPC cannot be used by the High Court to reopen or alter an order disposing of a petition decided on merits.

Facts of the case : The wife presented an application under Section 12 of the DV Act in the court of the Judicial Magistrate of the First class at Agartala Seeking various reliefs under the DV Act wherein she referred to several incidents of domestic violence against her husband. Her husband subjected her to harassment and torture for dowry and since she was unable to meet his demand, she was physically assaulted by her husband on various dates. Unable to bear his torture, the wife parted with his company on 17.12.2015. 

The High Court directed the Respondent No.1 was further directed as part of residence order to make payment of Rs.2000/- per month as rent for accommodation to the aggrieved petitioner. He was further directed to make payment of Rs.15,000/- per month as monetary relief in the form of maintenance to the aggrieved petitioner. 

Judgment : Counsel for the petitioner husband in the present Criminal petition contends that this court is not powerless to review or alter its judgment passed in Criminal Revision Petition No.36 of 2020. and in terms of the legislative scheme of Section 125 and 127 Cr.P.C court does not become functus officio after a judgment/order relating to maintenance allowance is passed. Court has power to review its judgment or final order if the circumstances so require. 

Mr. Raju Datta, learned counsel appearing for the respondent wife on the other hand contended that the present petition is not maintainable because this court has become functus officio after it has passed the judgment in Crl.Rev.P.No.36 of 2020

The court held that the High Court has no jurisdiction to review its order either under Section 362 or under Section 482 CrPC. The inherent power under Section 482 CrPC cannot be used by the High Court to reopen or alter an order disposing of a petition decided on merits. After disposing of a case on merits, the Court becomes functus officio and Section 362 CrPC expressly bars review and specifically provides that no Court after it has signed its judgment shall alter or review the same except to correct a clerical or arithmetical error.

When the judgment was passed in Crl.Rev.P.No.36 of 2020, income of the petitioner, his liabilities and the status and needs of his wife and all other relevant factors were taken into consideration to determine the amount of monthly monetary relief for his wife. The learned counsel could not make out any new ground to reconsider the same. The court cannot reopen the case and review/recall its judgment for modification. Resultantly, the petition was dismissed. 

JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY : SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY

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