The criminal justice has a very important and serious impact on every human’s life and especially on the ones who have been convicted under the criminal law. The makers of this code kept this in mind as an object and made provision for revision to resolve this error or defect of the jurisdiction of the law. The makers of the Indian constitution have even given the provision of rights of arrested persons to save them from any misuse of power and defect in procedure.

Through the provisions of appeal, review, reference, and revision, the aggrieved party can move to a higher court against the existing orders or the judgment of lower courts. Generally, the party who is not satisfied with the orders of the lower court has the right to appeal in higher courts but in some cases, the court does not give the right to appeal. In these cases, the judgment can be either reviewed or it can be revised by the higher courts or by some other delegated authorities.

Section 397 to 405 deals with the powers of revision being granted to the higher courts and the methods and procedures to be followed by the courts to exercise these powers appropriately. These powers are widespread and are discretionary in nature.

Section 397

Section 397 of the code gives the High Court or any Sessions Judge power to call for and examine the records of any proceeding before the inferior court under its jurisdiction to satisfy the court to the correctness, legality, propriety of any finding, sentence, or order recorded or passed by the inferior court. The regularity of the lower court in a proceeding is also been reviewed. While calling for such a record, the higher court can also direct the suspension and stay to the execution of any order in that proceeding. There has to be a well-founded error and it may not be appropriate for the court to scrutinize the orders which upon the face of them bear a token of careful consideration and appear to be in accordance with the law. Each of the cases is determined and treated on the basis of its merit. The revisional jurisdiction of the higher court is limited and also it cannot be exercised in a routine manner.

Interlocutory Orders

The revision cannot be invoked against interlocutory orders. The term ‘interlocutory order’ in Section 397 has been used in a restricted sense and not in a broader one. It denotes the orders of a purely interim or temporary nature that do not decide or touch the important rights or liabilities of the parties. Orders to summon the witness, adjourn cases, orders of bail, and calling for reports are some kind of interlocutory orders against which the revision is not done as these are temporary orders and do not affect the rights and liabilities of any individual. If the order is directed against a person who is not the party to inquiry or trial, then such person has no opportunity to apply for revision after the final order is made, even if his rights are affected at worst.

In Father Thomas Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh, it was held that the order issuing the search warrant is only an interlocutory order under Section 397(2) of CrPC and the revision against such orders is not applicable.

The court in Girish Kumar Suneja Vs. CBI said that the powers of revision against the interlocutory orders had been taken away because it mostly amounts to the main contributing factor in the delay or disposal of criminal cases.

In the case of Amar Nath, it was noted that the purpose of introducing Section 397(2) was to curb the delays in the decision of criminal cases and also to benefit the accused by giving a fair and expeditious trial. 

Madhu Limaye v. the State of Maharashtra

In this case, the concept of intermediate order was elucidated by contradistinguishing the final order and interlocutory order. The decision laid down a new principle that an intermediate order is the one that is interlocutory in nature but when it is reversed, it has the effect of terminating the proceedings and results in a final order.

The above view was followed in K.K. Patel v. the State of Gujarat. In this case, a revision petition was been filed challenging the taking of cognizance and issuance of process. It was said that in deciding whether the order challenged is interlocutory or not, the sole test is not whether the order was passed during the interim stage.

In Parmeshwari Devi vs. State, Parmeshwari Devi was summoned to appear before the court but she did not come and through Advocate, she had sent the message that she do not have possession of the documents summoned. This caused an undesirable delay in the proceedings of the case. The Metropolitan Magistrate ordered the counsel to intimate Mrs. Devi to attend the court and produce the documents if she has them in her possession on 30 August 1974. The application of revision was been filed by Mrs. Devi against this order which was been dismissed by the Additional Sessions Judge and the High Court.

Sections 397 to 403 CrPC does not confer the right on the litigant to file revision but the revisional power is only discretionary with the court to see that justice is done in accordance with the recognized principles of criminal jurisprudence.

Powers of Revisional Court

The findings of facts recorded by the lower court cannot be altered by the revisional court merely just because of the fact that another view is possible on the same evidence. Where in the case of maintenance is filed by the wife and the High Court altered the findings of facts recorded by the Magistrate in its revisional powers, even when the findings of facts recorded by the Magistrate were neither perverse nor erroneous but were based on the proper appreciation of evidence on record. The Supreme Court ruled that the High Court while exercising its revisional power could have not interfered with the facts recorded by the lower courts only because it arrived at some other different conclusion. In the case of Shamima Farooqui Vs. Shahid Khan also the court gave similar opinions.

Amit Kapoor Vs. Ramesh Chander

The findings of the facts recorded by the lower courts can be disturbed by the revisional court only when the same is perverse. In this case, the Supreme Court said that normally the revisional jurisdiction is and should be exercised on the question of law however when factual appreciation is involved, then it should find its place in the class of cases resulting in the perverse finding. Basically, the power is required to be exercised so that justice is done and there is no abuse and injustice by the court. Just apprehension or suspicion of the same is not sufficient ground for interference in such cases. (Chandra Babu Vs. State and Smt. Savitri Devi Vs. The state of UP)

Revisional Court can interfere with the findings of fact of the lower court only when the same is perverse and not merely when another view of the findings of the fact is possible. When the recorded findings of the lower court are based on no evidence or the material evidence is ignored or the judicial discretion has been exercised arbitrarily or perversely, the revisional court has the power to exercise interference.

Mst. Jagir Kaur Vs. Jaswant Singh

Findings of facts recorded by the Magistrate under Section 125 shall not be altered by the revisional court. In the revision against the order awarding the maintenance under Section 125 by the Magistrate, the revisional court has no power to reassess the evidence and substitute the findings of its own. The quantum of maintenance cannot be questioned at all during revision

Susanta Dey Vs. Babli Majumdar

The matter shall not be remanded to the lower court when there is sufficient material before the revisional court for deciding the case finally. In this case, the Magistrate had sentenced to undergo simple imprisonment for two months along with a fine of Rupees 5,000/- and in default of payment of fine, to undergo simple imprisonment for one month and also awarded a compensation of Rs. three lakhs payable to the respondent/complainant. While considering the matter under Section 401, the matter was remanded to Magistrate by High Court for giving fresh decision. The Supreme Court set aside the order and said that when sufficient material was available with the High Court for giving a fresh decision then there was no need to remand the case to the Magistrate. The Supreme Court said this act of the High Court was not proper.

Indrajeet Roy vs. the Republic of India

In this case, it was held that if the revisional court remands the case to the lower court for new considerations and a fresh order is passed by the lower court in compliance with the order of the revisional court, a fresh revision against the fresh order of the lower court would be maintainable and Section 397(3) CrPC would not bar such second revision.

Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency (P) Ltd. Vs. CBI

In this case, the Supreme Court issued directions regarding the manner of passing the stay orders and durations thereof in revisions and appeals filed against the orders of the trial court.

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