Challenge to Order Framing Charge in High Court

Effect of bar of Revision

Order framing charge is not purely an interlocutory order nor a final order. Jurisdiction of the High Court is not barred irrespective of the label of a petition, be it under Sections 397 or 482 Cr.P.C. or Article 227 of the Constitution. However, the said jurisdiction is to be exercised consistent with the legislative policy to ensure expeditious disposal of a trial without the same being in any manner hampered. Thus considered, the challenge to an order of charge should be entertained in a rarest of rare case only to correct a patent error of jurisdiction and not to re-appreciate the matter. Even where such challenge is entertained and stay is granted, the matter must be decided on day-to-day basis so that stay does not operate for an unduly long period. Though no mandatory time limit may be fixed, the decision may not exceed two-three months normally. If it remains pending longer, duration of stay should not exceed six months, unless extension is granted by a specific speaking order, as already indicated.

Mandate of speedy justice applies to the PC Act cases as well as other cases where at trial stage proceedings are stayed by the higher court i.e. the High Court or a court below the High Court, as the case may be. In all pending matters before the High Courts or other courts relating to PC Act or all other civil or criminal cases, where stay of proceedings in a pending trial is operating, stay will automatically lapse after six months from today unless extended by a speaking order on above parameters. Same course may also be adopted by civil and criminal appellate/revisional courts under the jurisdiction of the High Courts. The trial courts may, on expiry of above period, resume the proceedings without waiting for any other intimation unless express order extending stay is produced.

The High Courts may also issue instructions to this effect and monitor the same so that civil or criminal proceedings do not remain pending for unduly period at the trial stage.

[Source: Asian Resurfacing Of Road Agency vs Central Bureau Of Investigation decided by SC on 28 March, 2018]

Revisional jurisdiction of National Consumer Commission

Dismissal of complaint itself in Revision by Complainant:

Can National Commission dismiss a complaint on a ground which was not raised by the opposite party alone?

Please note that except Limitation Act, no law enjoins a court to reject a claim on its own. In an adversary litigation, objection has to be pleaded by one party and responded by the other party.  Following this principles, the Supreme Court set aside order of National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission with following observations:

5. At the outset, we may notice that this was not a defence raised by the respondent either before the District Forum or before the State Commission. In fact, the respondent had not even challenged the order of the State Commission. In our view, the National Commission, in a revision petition filed by the complainant praying for increase of compensation and payment of interest, could not have dismissed the petition itself. We, therefore, set aside the order of the National Commission.

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Scope of Revisional jurisdiction under section 21 of A.P. Land Ceiling Act.

Revisional jurisdiction do not entitle to upset the pure findings of fact recorded by the appellate jurisdiction.

Section 21 of the Andhra Pradesh Land Reforms (Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings) Act, 1973 (Act 1 of 1973) reads as under :

“21. Revision :- An application for revision from any party aggrieved, including the Government, shall lie to the High Court, within the prescribed period, from any order passed on appeal by the Appellate Tribunal on any of the following grounds, namely :-

(a) that it exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law, or

(b) that it failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested, or

(c) that it acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.” A mere look at the section shows that it is pan materia with Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure which is identically worded.

So far as Section 115 is concerned, the scope and ambit of the revisional jurisdiction under the said Section as conferred on the High Court is now well settled by a series of decisions of this Court. It is obvious that the revisional jurisdiction under Section 115, C.P.C. or for that matter under pan materia provision of Section 21 of the Act is not an appellate jurisdiction and pure finding of fact reached by the court of appeal could not be interfered with. The Court can interfere in revision only when it is satisfied that the findings reached by the court below suffer from any jurisdictional errors.

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