Article 227 – The jurisdiction of review does not consist in correcting all the errors when the final conclusion is justified: Supreme Court

Review jurisdiction under Section 227 of the Constitution of India is not to correct a defect in law where the ultimate conclusion is justified or can be supported, the Supreme Court observed in a judgment delivered on Tuesday ( January 11, 2022). The bench consisting of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Bela M. Trivedi observed that the power provided for in Section 227 is exercised sparingly in appropriate cases, such as…

Review jurisdiction under Section 227 of the Constitution of India is not to correct a defect in law where the ultimate conclusion is justified or can be supported, the Supreme Court observed in a judgment delivered on Tuesday (11 January 2022).

The bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Bela M. Trivedi observed that the power under Section 227 is exercised sparingly in appropriate cases, such as when there is no evidence to substantiate, or the conclusion is so evil that no reasonable person can come to such conclusion as the court or tribunal has come to.

In this case, a Prakash Chand Goel filed a civil suit on the original side of the Delhi High Court for the recovery of Rs.81,24,786.23p against M/s Garment Craft. The plaintiff presented evidence which ended on May 1, 2015 and the case was presented to the defendant on October 28, 2015. On September 29, 2015, Shailendra Garg, the sole owner of the defendant was arrested by the police of the Rajasthan in an unrelated matter. , then on October 6, 2015, he was taken into custody and detained in Jaipur Central Jail. As none appeared for the defendant, see order dated October 28, 2015, the Joint Registrar of the Delhi High Court ordered the exculpatory evidence to be closed. Raising the pecuniary jurisdiction objection, the suit was transferred to the court of the District Judge, Tis Hazari, Delhi. At the appellant’s request, the Additional District Judge, subject to an order dated March 14, 2016, recalled the order directing the defense’s evidence to be closed and the appellant was given an opportunity to present defense evidence for a fee of Rs.5,000/-. Accepting the request filed by counsel for the defendant, see Order dated 11th May 2016, Additional District Judge (Centre), Tis Hazari, Delhi, ordered the issuance of a production warrant for the appearance of Shailendra Garg from Jaipur Central Jail. Later, on November 8, 2016, an ex-parte judgment was rendered, decreeing the action brought by the plaintiff. Shailendra Garg was released on bail on May 6, 2017 and within 10 days of his release on May 16, 2017, he filed an application under Order IX Rule 13 of the Code to set aside the ex parte decree. This request has been authorized

Later, the Delhi High Court, exercising powers under Section 227 of the Constitution of India, quashed an order authorizing the claim under Order IX, Rule 13 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. The defendant therefore applied to the Apex Court.

While allowing the appeal, the seat of the Supreme Court observed thus:

Having heard the counsel of the parties, we are clearly of the view that the impugned order is contrary to law and cannot be upheld for several reasons, but principally for derogation from the limited jurisdiction exercised by the High Court under the Article 227 of the Constitution of India. The High Court exercising reviewing jurisdiction does not act as a court of first appeal to reassess, reassess the evidence or facts on which the contested decision is based. Review jurisdiction is not about correcting any error of fact or even a defect of law where the ultimate conclusion is justified or can be supported. The High Court should not substitute its own decision on the facts and conclusion for that of the lower court or tribunal. The jurisdiction exercised is of the nature of misdemeanor jurisdiction to redress a gross breach of duty or flagrant abuse, breach of fundamental principles of law or justice. The power under section 227 is exercised sparingly in appropriate cases, such as when there is no evidence to substantiate, or when the conclusion is so perverse that no reasonable person can come to such a conclusion which the court or tribunal has reached. It goes without saying that such discretionary relief must be exercised to ensure that there is no miscarriage of justice.

The court stated that in this case, the discretion exercised by the trial court to grant relief was not the result of an error apparent on reading the record or was not such an improper conclusion that it was not supported by evidence to justify it. . Thus, the reasoned decision of the court of first instance on a thorough examination of the relevant facts did not justify interference with the exercise of supervisory jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution, the panel observed.

Case Name: Garment Craft v Prakash Chand Goel

Reference: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 39

Case No. and Date: SLP(C) 13941 DE 2021 | Jan 11, 2022

Coram: Judges Sanjiv Khanna and Bela M. Trivedi

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Thelma J. Longworth