As per the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, when a party is not satisfied by the
decree passed by the court, it can approach the higher court by way of appeal,
against the decree passed by the trial court. Generally, under appeal, the whole
matter in dispute is heard again by the appellate court but in cases where there
are technical/procedural errors, the aggrieved party rather than going to the
higher court and contesting another suit that is in the form of appeal.
same purpose, can seek the corrective remedies provided under the Code
through the concepts called Reference, Review and Revision under Sections 113,
114 & 115 respectively. An application for Reference, Review and Revision can be
filed in the concerned courts as mentioned by the Code and the proceedings under
these applications are solely based on technical grounds.
Section 113 of the Code provides for reference, Order XLVI deals with the
A subordinate court refers matter to High Court regarding validity of a law or a
statute. In matters where the subordinate court has a doubt regarding a law it
can refer it to High Court in order to prevent misinterpretation of law. This
right in vested only with court and not with parties to the suit
Order XLVI of the Code provides the conditions that should be satisfied by the
subordinate court while making a reference to the High court. They are:
- The suit or appeal must be pending and no further appeal lies from
decree or order of such suit or appeal respectively
- The question of law must arise during the course of proceedings, i.e.,
the pendency of the suit
- The court must be entertaining the suit from which such doubt regarding
the question of law has arisen
The decision of subordinate court is always contingent on High Court's decision
i.e. the subordinate court while making decision has to make it taking into
consideration High Court's decision.
If the following conditions are fulfilled reference is obligatory:
- It is necessary to decide such question to dispose off the case.
- The subordinate court is of the view that the impugned Act, ordinance,
regulation is ultravires.
- There is no determination by Supreme Court or High Court to which such
court is a subordinate that such Act, ordinance or Regulation is ultravires.
Any tribunal or persona designate is not considered as a court. As held in the
case of Ramakant Bindal v. State of U.P. , no reference can be made by a
In Banarsi Yadav vs Krishna Chandra Dass
 it was held that the question of law
about which the subordinate court is doubtful, then a subordinate court may
refer a case to the High Court when there is reasonable doubt regarding the
constitutional validity of an Act and it shouldn't be a hypothetical question.
Therefore, no reference can be made on a hypothetical question or a point that
may or may not arise in future but if the situation arises it may be considered
Section 114 of the Code provides for reference, Order XLVII deals with the
An application for review can be filed by affected party in the same court where
the decree has been passed. By way of this provision the court can review its
own judgement in case of any error or mistake made in its decision and can
rectify the same.
The application for Review can be filed under the
The grounds for filing review application are:
- A decree or order is appealable as provided by the law, but no such
appeal has been preferred
- There is no provision for appeal from certain decree or order
- A decision is passed by the court of Small Causes
- Discovery of new facts when there is no knowledge about the same or
could not produce the same due to negligence, prior to the time when the
decree was passed
- The error apparent on the face of the record which means errors which do
not give rise to re-arguments of the whole case and those which are not
related to erroneous decisions
- Any other sufficient grounds as provided by the Code, wherein the
misconception of the court can be considered as sufficient ground.
The application for review shall be filed within 30 days from the date of
order/decree. The order passed shall be final and in force. The review petition
is discretionary of a court, meaning, it can either choose to entertain or
reject the application.
Supreme Court can also review its own decisions under Article 137 of the
Constitution of India. As per Supreme Court Rules, 1966, the review petition
should be filed within thirty days from the date of judgment.
Section 115 of the Code provides for revision.
The High court has the power to call for a re-examination of any case which has
been decided by the subordinate court without appropriate jurisdiction. This
power of the High court is called Revisional Jurisdiction of only High court
which is mentioned under Section 115 of the Code. The revisional jurisdiction is
not a substantive right but is merely a privilege given to the
applicant. Revision is done mainly on jurisdictional errors by the subordinate
Court an application for revision can be made by the parties to the suit under
the following circumstances where the subordinate court has:
- Not exercised jurisdiction as conferred by law (wrongful assumption of
the court regarding the jurisdiction)
- Failed to exercise jurisdiction that is vested in it (non-exercise of
jurisdiction by the court)
- Illegally exercised its jurisdiction (irregular exercise of jurisdiction
by the court)
- The High court cannot reverse a judgement where
- The whole suit has been disposed of by the parties
- The reversal of such judgement shall cause irreparable injury/loss
against whom it was made
Since the High court only possesses the Revisional jurisdiction, the order made
from the exercise of such power is not appealable.
As seen in the case of Salem Advocates Bar Assn v. Union of India, the Supreme
Court considered the scope of Section 115 of the CPC and observed that the scope
of section 115 is limited and the revisional court should only be satisfied that
the orders passed is within the jurisdiction of Section 115.
Further in the case
of Radhe Shyam v. Chhabi Nath, the Supreme Court held that even though the scope
of section 115 has been curtailed by the CPC (Amendment) Act, 1999, as a result,
the power of superintendence of the High Court does not extend.
Major. S.S. Khanna v. Brig. F.J. Dillion
when an alternative and efficacious
remedy is available to the aggrieved party, then the court may not exercise its
revisional power under section 115 of the Code.
The provisions for reference, review and revision provided under the Code of
Civil Procedure are corrective remedies available to the aggrieved party where
right to appeal is not available or not preferred.
Whenever a matter is decided and the Court and the judge passes a decree or
order such circumstances whereby there is any mistake or error, or a party is
aggrieved by the order or decree or, the subordinate court is doubtful on such
question of law. And, a general rule once a judgement is pronounced it cannot be
altered by the same court. So the provision of review, reference and revision
has been inserted under the Code to ensure justice.
- AIR 1973 All 23
- 1971 Pat. L.J.R. 518