Litigant not permitted to repeat overruled arguments in review plea: SC

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A litigant cannot be permitted to repeat old and overruled arguments for reopening the conclusions arrived at in an earlier judgement under the garb of filing a review petition, the Supreme Court said on Thursday while deciding a 55-year-old land dispute case.

The top court dealt in detail with the law related to seeking review of a judgement in a civil dispute under the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) and said it has been consistently held that the Court’s jurisdiction of review is not the same as that of an appeal.

A judgement can be open to review if there is a mistake or an error apparent on the face of the record, but an error that has to be detected by a process of reasoning, cannot be described as an error apparent on the face of the record for the Court to exercise its powers of review under Order XLVII Rule 1 CPC, a bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Krishna Murari and HimaKohli said.

In the guise of exercising powers of review, the court can correct a mistake but not substitute the view taken earlier merely because there is a possibility of taking two views in a matter, it said.

Under the garb of filing a review petition, a party cannot be permitted to repeat old and overruled arguments for reopening the conclusions arrived at in a judgement. The power of review is not to be confused with the appellate power which enables the Superior Court to correct errors committed by a subordinate Court, Justice Kohli, writing the 31-page judgement for the bench, said.

Observing that the recourse to successive review petitions against the same order is impermissible, the apex court set aside the April 29, 2022 order of the Telangana High Court passed on the second set of review petitions filed in the land dispute.

Given the facts and circumstances, we are of the firm view that the second set of review petitions were nothing short of an abuse of the process of the court and ought to have been rejected by the High Court as not maintainable, without having gone into the merits of the matter, it said and allowed the appeals.

The land dispute, which had a chequered history dating back to 1967, was going on between the heirs of land owners and the protected tenants with respect to separate parcels of land situated in different survey numbers of Kammadanam Village, ShadnagarMandal in Mahabubnagar District.

In 1967, the Tahsildar of Shadnagar passed an order accepting the surrender of protected tenancy rights by the ancestors of the appellant. (PTI)

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