Success Rate of Review Petition and Curative Petition in Supreme Court

Success Rate of Review Petition and Curative Petition in Supreme Court

Can you please tell me if there is any acquittal which occurred when an applicant filed review petition in Hon’ble Supreme court of India? It is learnt that there is not a single case where review petition was successfully considered and acquittal occurred. Even in a case where there are good grounds where review petition must be heard, it is not heard. Is it so that since the review petition goes to the same judges who took the decision, they are adamant on not overruling their own decision? What is the success rate in a review petition?


It is very rare chance indeed that a review petition will succeed in the Supreme Court. Unless a Judge has retired, the review petition goes before the same Bench which heard the case previously. Moreover, the review petition first goes before those Judges in their chamber and not in the open court (which means no oral arguments by counsel). It is only when the Judges find something substantial in the review petition that they decide to hear such petition in the open court permitting oral arguments by counsel. But, that is very rare indeed.
As per the Supreme Court Rules, a review petition will not be entertained in a criminal proceeding except on the ground of an error apparent on the face of the record. And, in a civil proceeding, a review petition is not entertained except on the ground mentioned in Order XLVII, Rule I of the Civil Procedure Code, which in turn means grounds such as: (1) the discovery of new and important matter or evidence which, after the exercise of due diligence, was not within the knowledge or could not be produced by the person at the time when the decree was passed or order made; or, (2) some mistake or error apparent on the face of the record; or, (3) any other sufficient reason.
Thus, a review petition is maintainable only on limited grounds. It is also the normal human tendency not to accept the review petition sometimes even if the judges themselves had committed an error. However, still people try by filing review petitions in a routine manner. Hoping against hope. In fact, some people try even a curative petition after rejection of their review petition in the Supreme Court.
It is pertinent to mention that the system of curative petition was started after the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Rupa Ashok Hurra vs. Ashok Hurra, (2002) 4 SCC 388 : AIR 2002 SC 1771. A tedious process has been laid down for filing a curative petition, inter alia, including, that the curative petition shall contain a certification by a Senior Advocate with regard to the fulfilment of the requirements for filing the curative petition. If my information is correct, since the curative petition system was started about 12 years back in 2002 in the aforesaid judgment, only a total of two curative petitions have succeeded so far from out of hundreds of curative petitions that are filed every year. Thus, in curative petitions also, the success rate is very-very low.

About Dr. Ashok Dhamija

Dr. Ashok DhamijaDr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate, holds Ph.D. in Constitutional Law, is author of 3 law books, and is an ex-IPS officer. He is the founder of this law portal. Read more by clicking here. List of his articles. List of his Forum Replies. List of his Quora Answers.

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  1. what are the two cases in which curative etition allowed till today
    and the citation reported details

  2. As far as my knowledge goes, curative petitions have been
    allowed in only two cases so far:

    (1) Rupa Ashok Hurra vs. Ashok Hurra, (2002) 4 SCC 388 : AIR 2002 SC 1771 (in fact, this is the case in which the system of curative petitions are introduced for the first time).

    (2) State of M.P. v. Sughar Singh, (2010) 3 SCC 719 [Curative Petitions (Crl.) Nos. 7-8 of 2009 in Review Petition (Crl.) No. D-37915 of 2008 in Criminal Appeals Nos. 1362-63 of 2004].

    Therefore, in a way, we can also say that curative petition
    has been successful actually only in one case after this system was introduced.