Review Jurisdiction of Supreme Court of India


    In News

    • The Centre recently moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its order prematurely releasing six convicts serving life imprisonment for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.


    • A judgement of the Supreme Court becomes the law of the land, according to the Constitution.
    • It is final because it provides certainty for deciding future cases

    What is a review petition and when can it be filed?

    • Article 137:   the Constitution gives, under Article 137, the Supreme Court the power to review its judgments or orders. This provision forms the legal basis for the filing of a “review petition”.
      • A review petition must be filed within 30 days of pronouncement of the judgement. 
      • Except in cases of death penalty, review petitions are heard through “circulation” by judges in their chambers. They are usually not heard in open court.
    • Lawyers in review petitions usually make their case through written submissions, and not oral arguments. The same judges who passed the original verdict usually also hear the review petition.

    On what grounds can a petitioner seek a review of an SC verdict?

    • There are narrow, specific grounds on which a review petition can be entertained. Therefore, the court has the power to review its rulings to correct a “patent error” — but not “minor mistakes of inconsequential import”.
    • In a 2013 ruling, the Supreme Court itself laid down three grounds for seeking a review of a verdict it has delivered:
      • The discovery of new and important matter or evidence which, after the exercise of due diligence, was not within the knowledge of the petitioner or could not be produced by him.
      • Mistake or error apparent on the face of the record
      • Any other sufficient reason.
        • The court here specified that any sufficient reason means a reason that is analogous to the other two grounds