Civil Procedure Code, 1908 is a procedural law related to the administration of civil proceedings in India. Section 115 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 provides the provisions on the Revision. It empowers the High Court to look into the cases which have been decided by the subordinate courts. Hence, the High Court has revisional jurisdiction. In other words, the Higher courts exercise the power of supervision on the lower courts. Section 115 limited to errors of jurisdiction only.
Meaning of Revision:
To revise means to check again or look again. Revision means to go through thoroughly with a careful examination to correct the mistake. In other words, the court will revise the case and gives correction wherever necessary. The High court has the power of revision with certain conditions.
- The main object of the revision is to prevent the subordinate court from acting arbitrarily or illegally.
- To empower the High court to look at proceedings of the subordinate court are in accordance with the law and acting within the jurisdiction of the court.
- To correct the errors of jurisdiction done by the subordinate courts.
- To ensure the aggrieved party that if the order passed against them is non-appealable then it can be rectified by the High Court.
Nature and scope of Revision:
The High Court should satisfy itself on 3 Matters:
- The order which is passed by the lower court is within the jurisdiction of that court.
- The case is of such nature that the court is ought to exercise its jurisdiction.
- That the subordinate court has acted legally, acted within the four corners of law and acted without committing any error.
If the high court satisfies these three matters then it has no power to interfere. Where there is no question of jurisdiction the decision cannot be corrected by the High Court. Hence, the question must arise out of jurisdiction.
Who may file?
1. Application by aggrieved party – When the order passed by the subordinate court and the party who is aggrieved by such order can apply for the revision in the High Court.
2. Suo moto – Under section 115 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 the High Court may exercise suo moto action of revisional jurisdiction. In simple words, the High court may act of its own motion call any record and accordingly pass the orders.
Grounds of revision under CPC
1. Court has decided the case:
In general Sense, the case must be decided by the court and should not be pending.
In case of Baldevdas Shivlal v. Filmistan Distributors India Pvt ltd, The Apex Court held that a case may be said to have been decided if the court adjudicates for the purpose of the suit some right or obligation of the parties in controversy. Every order in the suit cannot be regarded as case decided within the meaning of Section 115 of the code.
2. Such court is subordinate court:
Unless the order is passed by a subordinate court, the High Court cannot exercise the power of revisional jurisdiction. Therefore, it is necessary that the case should be decided by the subordinate court. The subordinate courts sometimes known as inferior or lower courts. Here, the court means a court that has civil judicature. In general meaning, the subordinate court means all courts which are subordinate to the High Court including the Small causes court.
Where it is provided that a matter should be decided by particular court, the presiding officer of such court will act as a court. But where it is provided that a particular judge should decide a matter the provisions of the statute will have to be considered for the purpose of determining whether the judicial officer acts as a court or as a persona designate.
3. Non -Appealable order:
Where there are no appeal lies then the revisional jurisdiction invoked. In simple words, If there is no first appeal or second appeal lies to the High Court then another option arises is revision. Here the word appeal means 1st appeal as well as 2nd appeal. If the decision itself is not appealable to the High Court then the revisional jurisdiction will be acted by the High Court.
4. Jurisdictional errors:
According to section 115 of Civil Procedure Code 1908, the Revision is only applicable to the jurisdiction and if there is no question arises related to jurisdiction the decision cannot be corrected.
On the other hand, the question is of fact or law the revisional power is not competent.
a) Exercise of jurisdiction not vested by law –
Here, the assumption of the subordinate court is that it vested some powers but in reality, the subordinate court does not have such powers and acted beyond its boundaries. In such cases, the High Court is empowered to correct the decision given by the subordinate court.
- The wrong assumption by the lower court that it has jurisdiction
- Entertain an appeal which it has no jurisdiction
- Makes an order which it has no jurisdiction
- Grants injunction order without considering relevant facts
b) Failed to exercise jurisdiction vested in it –
If the subordinate court having power vested in it but not acting accordingly and declines to exercise its duty or act then revisional power of the High Court takes place or High can interfere in such case.
- Refuse to give summons to deponent for cross examination
- Fails to execute the decree
- Reject the plaint, application etc.
- Rejection of counterclaim
c) Exercise of jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularities:
When the subordinate court does not act legally or acting arbitrarily, capriciously in the exercise of their jurisdiction. In simple words when the court misuses its powers and in case of errors of jurisdiction committed by the Subordinate Court, the revisional jurisdiction taken by the High Court.
The period of limitation for preferring a revision application is for 90 days from the decree or order.
1. Balkrishna Udayarvsvasudeva Aiyer
In this case it was held that, it will be observed that section applies to jurisdiction alone, the irregular exercise or non-exercise of it, or the illegal assumption of it. Section 115 is not directed against the conclusion of law or fact in which the question of jurisdiction is not involved.
2. Major S S Khanna v. Brig F J Dillon
To interpret the expression ‘case’ as an entire proceeding only and not a part of the proceeding would be imposed restriction upon the exercise of powers of superintendence which the jurisdiction to issue writs and the supervisory jurisdiction are not subject to. The power given by section 115 of the code is clearly limited to keeping of the subordinate courts within the bounds of their jurisdiction.
Once the flaw of jurisdiction is found the High Court need not quash and remit as it is the practice in English law under the writ of certiorari but pass such order as it thinks fit.
3. Shiv Shakti Co. Op. Housing Society v. Swaraj developers
A plain reading of section 115 as it stands makes it clear that the stress is on the question whether the order in favour of the party applying for revision would have given finality to suit or other proceeding. If the answer is yes then the revision is maintainable. The orders which are interim in nature, cannot be the subject matter of revision. Preferring an application under section 115 of the code is not a substantive right.
4. N.S. Venkatagiri Ayyangar v. Hindu religious endowment board
A distinction between cases in which on a wrong decision the court has assumed jurisdiction which is not vested in it and those in which in exercise of its jurisdiction the court has arrived at a conclusion erroneous in law or fact. In the former class of cases, revisional power is permissible while in latter class of cases it is not needed.
5. Joy Chand v Kamalaksha
A revision also lies where a subordinate court has failed to exercise jurisdiction vested in it by law. A court having jurisdiction to decide a matter, thinks erroneously under a misapprehension of law or fact that it has no such jurisdiction and declines to exercise it, the High Court can interfere in revision.
It can be concluded that the cases which are decided by subordinate courts and there is no appeal lies the aggrieved party Revision is competent. The High Court has the power of Revisional jurisdiction if the subordinate court has acted arbitrarily or illegally. The Court can also exercise suo moto action to correct the decision given by the subordinate court. Revisional powers can also be exercised when there is a jurisdictional error by the subordinate courts. Hence, it can be said that Section 115 acts as a remedy and gives justice.
 AIR 197 PC 71
 AIR 1964 SC 497
 (2003) 6 SCC 659
 AIR 1949 PC 156
 AIR 1949 PC 239
This article has been written by Snehal Tanaji Shirke, 3rd-year law student at SNDT University, Mumbai.
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