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Maintainability of review petition in Supreme Court

In the case of M.S. Ahlawat v. State of Haryana, it was said that “the powers of the Supreme Court
to review its own judgments are elaborated in the article 137 of the Constitution of India.” This of
course has to be read with the provisions of any law made by Parliament or any rule made under
article 145 of the constitution.

The Supreme Court in M/s. Northern Indian Caterers (India) Ltd. V. Lt. Governor of Delhi, said
that, “it is well settled that a party is not entitled to seek a review of a judgment delivered by this
Court merely for the purpose of a rehearsing and a fresh decision of the case”. When the Supreme
Court reviews a judgment it does not mean that the Supreme Court is asking itself to run through
the proceedings again and decide for a fresh judgment. It is just some kind of reconsideration to a
case when the Supreme Court believes that there has been some mistake or miscarriage of justice.
It is just an acceptance to the reality of apparent human philosophy which is inherent to fallibility.
Justice is the highest priority and thus review could only be done for the sake of justice. Until and
unless there is something really obvious thing which has been missing or omitted in the judgment
there could be no review as according to the normal rule, the decision of the Supreme Court is
final.

An expression “appeal” may be defined as “the judicial examination of the decision by a higher
court of the decision of an inferior court”. It is the aggrieved party’s complaint to the higher court
when they are dissatisfied with the lower court’s decision. It could be said that the appeal is some
kind of remedy provided by the law so that the decree from the lower court could be set aside. In
other words, it is the complaint made to the higher court that the decree passed by the lower court
is unsound and wrong. On the other hand, it should be noted that power to review is an exclusive
power given only to the Supreme Court. The dictionary meaning of the word ‘review’ is ‘the act
of looking, offer something again with a view to correction or improvement. Review is not
rehearing of the appeal all over again. Reviewing of a judgment is done by the Supreme Court
only when some serious injustice could be seen in the judgment after it has been passed. The power
of review can be exercised for correction of a mistake and not to substitute a view. But the injustice
should be really apparent and shouldn’t have contradictory opinions. The reason is in itself that if
there could be two viewpoints in a case, the mistake is not that glaring or serious. Such a situation
is not absolute or really obvious. So there wouldn’t naturally be a ground for “review”.