Can a Judge’s Ruling be Overturned?


Most judges do their best level to comply with law and establish all proceedings are accurately and properly. Judges also Human Being where mistakes are human nature. A good legal Practitioner pointed out the inaccuracy giving the notice with creating an issue of appeals. In these circumstances, a judge’s ruling be overturned parties preferred an appeal in superior court and in review overturned his own ruling by the same court and same judge. Whereas it gives a chance of losing parties it ensures and gets confidence in the justice system. The judges can overrule its decision by the way of Review and appeal. The appeal is the rights of parties proceedings any Judicial decisions given by lower court generally the higher courts have the power to transcribe the judgments at the same time the subordinate court has to deliver the judgments in a precautious manner. The power of review and appeal are distinct when hearing the appeal petition to be entertained in appellate jurisdiction the court does not rehear the case at hand and in review the petition has to filed against its own order of judgment. The aggrieved person by a decree or order from which an appeal is allowed but not filed, the judges can review its own decision and review Petition is the exception of legal principle of Stare Decisis.  In the review process, some judges might feel that is the opportunity to correct them not to repeat such mistakes if they committed any. India has the vast power to review any judgment pronounced by court.

This paper focuses on the various legal provisions on the matter of judges’ power overturned its decisions, what are all the circumstances the judges can overturn its decisions in several countries.


Article 137 of The Constitution of India grants the Supreme Court to review any judgment or order pronounced by the court. The scope of the power of review was explained by the court in Northern India Caterers v Lt. Governor of Delhi (1979)[1] wherein the court held that a party is not entitled to seek a review of a judgment delivered by this court merely for the purpose of rehearsing and a fresh decision in the case. Normally the principle is that a judgment pronounced by the court is final and departure from that principle is justified only when circumstances of a substantial character make it necessary to do so. If the attention of the court is not drawn to material statutory provisions during the original hearing the court will review its judgment. The Court may also reopen its judgment if a manifest wrong has been done and it necessary to pass an order to do full and effective justice. The power to review its own decision is not absolute power of the Supreme Court it as affirmed only in limited and compelling cases therefore the power be exercised is limited in manner.[2]

Under the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 A review petitions must be filed within 30 days from the date of Judgment or review is sought and placed before the same bench which he had already delivered the decision. As in review Petition should be circulated without any oral arguments of the same bench of judges. If the review petition has been dismissed the Supreme Court may consider Curative petition in order to and prevent the unfair ruling.

The right to review is an exception of the Latin doctrine Functus Officio means a case cannot be reopened if a judgment in the case has been pronounced in a court after hearing fair trial[3].As per Black law Dictionary, review means reconsider, to look again or to reexamine. But in the legal parlance, it is a judicial reexamination of the case by the same court and by the same judge. Section 114 of The Civil Procedure Code 1908, enables a person can file a review petition before the court to reconsider the case decided by the court itself and Order XLVII dealt procedure to file a petition. Once the review petition is filed before the court the judge’s ruling can be overturned his decision only if the following conditions are satisfied by the parties such as the Discovery of new and important matter of evidence, Mistake or error apparent on the face of record and other sufficient reasons.

An Appeal is a plea for the matter to be judged again also the judge’s ruling has to overturn. The aggrieved party can file an appeal when the decisions doesn’t satisfy by the inferior court or when the substantial question of law arises. The appellate court can reexamine the question of fact and law and may even re-appreciate the evidence


Many countries around the world follow the process of reconsidering his decision in the same court or different court.


In USA the losing party in a decision by a trial court in the federal courts normally is entitled to appeal the decision to a federal court of appeals.[4] A litigant who loses in a federal court of appeals, or in the highest court of a state, may file a petition for a writ of Certiorari which is a document asking the supreme court to review the case. The Court will rehear a case when it involves important legal principle and two or more federal courts have interpreted differently.


In Canada, the federal courts can rehear the decisions but it should be including any Constitutional challenges to federal law or actions. The review has to be done in most of Federal Courts, Commissions and Tribunals. If the appeal court allows the appeal the decision may also reverse and changes or order a new trial and hearing and this lead to judge’s ruling has to overturn.


The Decision can be overturned on the ground of procedural unfairness and irrationality if the proceedings and decisions were improper. The Decision-maker who is supposed to be stand-in bias instead of making the proper decisions in addition the parliament gave them less discretion to overturn the decision and also rarest of the courts can grant the review process.


No judges enjoy being overturned by the decisions. The judges might be having some impact if he seeks a higher post. Some of the judges wish that has to be an opportunity to correct mistakes in the future. When the decision has to overturn the judges handle the workload and more trouble in reversed decisions. I’m hoping the rate of appeals has to increase day by day because the Judge’s ruling has to be reversed in a frequent manner. The Appellate Court has the power to interpret the judgments at the same time the lower court has to deliver the Judgments in proper and correct. The parties have to attain the ultimate benefit and have an opportunity to overturn the decision.



[1] 1980AIR 674, 1980 SCR(2) 650

[2] https://




Also Read: Difference Between Review Petition and Curative Petition?

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