Report No. 54
Reference, Review and Revision
1L.1. We now come to a group of sections dealing with reference, review and revision. While an appeal is taken to a superior court by a party, in pursuance of the right given by the law and on questions permitted to be reagitated by the law, there are other provisions for modification or reversal of judicial decisions by the same court or by a higher court. Reference to the High Court, and revision of decisions of subordinate courts by the High Court, are, therefore provided for, and review of its own judgments by the court itself is also dealt with. Sections 113 to 115 of the Code relate to these matters, and, in this group, the section which has created the largest amount of controversy is section 115 (which deals with revision). We shall discuss this section presently.
1L.2. Section 115 deals with the High Court's power of revision. Briefly speaking, in a case not subject to appeal, it empowers the High Court to call for the records of a case decided by an inferior court, and if the inferior court has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law or failed to exercise jurisdiction vested by law or acted with material irregularity etc. in the exercise of its jurisdiction, the High Court can interfere.
1L.3. Experience shows that often the cause of delay in the trial of suits is the entertainment of petitions for revision against interlocutory orders which invariably result in stay of proceedings. In fact, in many cases, the object of the parties in moving the High Courts under s. 115 of C.P.C. may be to delay the progress of the proceedings.
1L.4. This question has been considered in the past more than once.1 We had in our Questionnaire issued on the Code2 put a question as to whether the present powers should not be abolished or drastically curtailed.
1. See 27th Report, paras. 54, 60.
2. Question 13.
1L.5. Most of the replies to the above questions do not favour a change in the law. But having considered the matter carefully, we have come to the conclusion that the provision in the Code as to revision should be deleted. The discretion of the court in granting adjournments, in granting amendment of the pleadings, in issuing or refusing to issue commissions, and with regard to many more miscellaneous matters, should not be open to revision under section 115. It is against such orders that revisions are generally filed, resulting in a stay of the proceedings and consequent delay in the disposal of cases.
1L.6. We may note that serious cases of injustice can be dealt with under Article 227 of the Constitution.
1L.7. Having regard to the above position, and to the fact that where injustice has resulted, adequate remedy is provided for by Article 227 of the Constitution for correcting cases of excess of jurisdiction or non-exercise of jurisdiction, or illegality in the exercise of jurisdiction, we are of the view that it is no longer necessary to retain section 115. Article 227, we are sure, will cover every case of serious injustice; and, in that sense, that article is wider than section 115.
1L.8. We, therefore, recommend that section 115 should be deleted.