Can High Court review its order in a petition u/s 482 Crpc?

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Dr. Ashok Dhamija Dr. Ashok Dhamija 4 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #4146

    Udar Ojha
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    Is it possible for a High court to review its order passed in a petition under section 482 of CrPC filed to set aside a Session court order?

  • #4169

    Section 362 of the Criminal Procedure Code specifically lays down that no Court can review its order or judgment except to correct a clerical or arithmetical error:

    362. Court not to alter judgment.— Save as otherwise provided by this Code or by any other law for the time being in force, no Court, when it has signed its judgment or final order disposing of a case, shall alter or review the same except to correct a clerical or arithmetical error.”

    In the case of State of Orissa v. Ram Chander Agarwala, (1979) 2 SCC 305 : 1979 Cri LJ 33 : AIR 1979 SC 87, while interpreting Section 369 of the old Criminal Procedure Code of 1898 (which corresponds to Section 362 of the new Criminal Procedure Code, reproduced above), the Supreme Court held that the said section was intended to apply to all courts, the provision being “no court when it has signed its judgment shall alter or review the same”, and the Supreme Court held that “no court” would include “all courts”.

    Referring to Section 561-A of the old Cr.P.C. of 1898 (which is equivalent to Section 482 of the new Cr.P.C.), the Supreme Court held that:

    “It purports to save the inherent powers of the High Court to make such orders—(1) as may be necessary to give effect to any order passed under the Code, (2) to prevent abuse of the process of the court and (3) otherwise to secure the ends of justice. The introduction of the section was because doubts were expressed about the existence of such inherent powers in the High Courts after the passing of the Criminal Procedure Code. By the introduction of the section it was made clear that, the inherent powers of the High Court, for the purposes mentioned in the section, shall not be deemed to be limited or affected by the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code. Thus, inherent power cannot relate to any of the matters specifically dealt with by the Code. It would follow that inherent powers cannot be invoked to exercise powers which would be inconsistent with any of the specific provisions of the Code. The saving of inherent power is only for giving effect to orders passed under the Code, to prevent abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.

    Thereafter, the Supreme Court held that if Section 369 of the (old) Cr.P.C. (equivalent to Section 362 of the new Cr.P.C.) is understood as applying to judgments on appeal by the High Court, Section 561-A of (old) Cr.P.C. (which is equivalent to Section 482 of the new Cr.P.C.) cannot be invoked for enabling the court to review its own order which is specifically prohibited by Section 369 (equivalent to Section 362 of the new Cr.P.C.) by providing that, no court when it has signed its judgment, shall alter or review the same except to correct a clerical error.

    In view of the aforesaid Supreme Court judgment, it should be quite clear that a High Court cannot review its own order even under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. A High Court can only correct a clerical or arithmetical error in its order, as provided under Section 362 of the Cr.P.C., but it cannot or review its order otherwise.

    However, it should be noted that Section 362 of the Cr.P.C. begins by saying that “Save as otherwise provided by this Code or by any other law for the time being in force…”. Therefore, if there is a provision for filing appeal under any other law/rules (such as LPA or Letters Patent Appeal) for filing an appeal from the order of a Single-Judge bench of the High Court to a Division bench of the High Court, then such appeal may be admissible before the same High Court. However, a review is still not possible, as mentioned above (it should be noted that review of an order would imply review of the order by the same bench which had earlier passed that order).

         


    Dr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate and author of law books. Read more about him by clicking here. List of his Forum Replies. List of his other articles. List of his Quora Answers.

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