Category Archive Supreme Court Law Guide

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All you need to know about the procedure of Curative Petitions in India

What is a Curative Petition?

A curative petition is the last judicial corrective measure which can be pleaded for in any judgment or decision passed by the Supreme Court which is normally decided by Judges in-chamber. It is only in rare cases that such petitions are given an open-court hearing. Therefore, it is considered as the last and final option available for redressal of grievances.

Article- 137 of the Constitution of India, 1950 subjects to the provisions of the guidelines made under Article 145, by which it is clear that the Supreme Court has the ability to review any judgment declared by it. This petition needs to be filed within 30 days from the date of the impugned order.

What is the objective behind curative petition?

The objective behind allowing such a petition is only to minimize any abuse of the processes of law and to cure gross miscarriage and lapses in the system of justice.
 
Once the Supreme Court decides the issue, an interesting doctrine of ‘interest Republicaeut sit finis litium’ finds worth. This phenomenon states that it is for the public good that there should be an end of litigation after a long hierarchy of appeals. However, in the interest of justice the founding fathers and mothers inserted Article 137 of the Constitution, which allows a review of orders passed by the Supreme Court.
 
A logical question arises, what if even after disposal of a review petition, injustice survives? Can an aggrieved person say that I am affected by a judicial order of the Supreme Court and claim issuance of a writ against it?
 
Can the Supreme Court issue a writ to itself? Considering that there is no intra court appeal in the Supreme Court and there is an accepted legal doctrine i.e., ‘actus curiae neminem gravabit’, which suggests that the act of court shall prejudice no one, it becomes imperative to find a solution.

How did it come into existence?

The concept of curative petition was first evolved by the Supreme Court in the matter of Rupa Ashok Hurra vs. Ashok Hurra and Anr. (2002) where the question was whether an aggrieved party is entitled to any relief against the final judgement/ order of the Supreme Court after the dismissal of a review petition.

The Supreme Court in the said case held that in order to prevent abuse of its process and to cure gross miscarriage of justice, it may reconsider its judgements in exercise of its inherent powers. For this purpose the Court has devised what has been termed as a “curative” petition.

What are the grounds for filing a curative petition?

  1. The petitioner will have to certify and confirm that there was a genuine infringement of principles of natural justice and that there had been a bias of the judge and judgment that affected him.
  2. The petition shall state expressly that the grounds mentioned under Review Petition were dismissed by circulation.
  3. The Curative Petition must come with the certification of a Senior Advocate for fulfilling the above requirements.
  4. The petition is to be sent to the 3 senior most judges and judges of the bench who passed the judgment, if available.
  5. If the majority of the judges on the above bench agree that the matter needs a hearing, then it would be sent to the same bench.
  6. The court could impose “exemplary costs” to the petitioner if his plea lacks merit”.

Why are curative petitions not heard in Court?

As with review petitions, curative petitions are not heard in open court unless judges first decide that there’s some merit in the case and therefore, they should be heard in open court.
 
Moreover, almost every curative petition is rejected by the Supreme Court after reading through the petition, without even hearing the lawyers. This is quite a reasonable process since the required grounds in curative petitions are extremely narrow and are highly unlikely to be made out during the course of argument if they aren’t made out in the text of the curative petition itself.

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A guide to Special Leave Petition

Special Leave Petition is a special remedy available in certain circumstances. The Indian legal system has taken all the requisite steps to ensure that no person is ever subjected to injustice, even by the court of law. A special leave petition can only be filed before the Supreme Court. This power has been especially conferred upon the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution of India.

A person has a right to appeal against a judgment of a lower court or a high court if he thinks justice has not been delivered. If you are aggrieved by an order or judgment of the lower court then you can seek permission from the Supreme Court to go for an appeal against such order or judgment. The Apex Court can direct a lower court to hear the appeal or can take up the case for hearing itself. You need to establish urgency of matter to sustain an SLP before Supreme Court. An SLP is maintainable for both civil and criminal cases.
 

Time limit for filing an SLP

An SLP should be filed against a decision of the High Court or any other Tribunal within 90 days of pronouncement of such decision. In matters where the High Court refuses permission to file an appeal to Supreme Court then SLP has to be filed within 60 days of such order of refusal.
 

Procedure to file an SLP

The person filing the petition must include the following components in his petition-

  • All the important facts to enable the court to determine whether SLP is maintainable or not
  • Statement of the petitioner for not filing any other petition in any other court
  • All the other relevant documents
  • Affidavit by the petitioner verifying the contents of the petition

The Supreme Court has the discretion to refuse the case or send the case back to a lower court for fresh adjudication.