Reverence of life is the highest court of appeal
— Albert Schweitzer
Article 21 of the Constitution states that, “no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.”
Thus every person deserves the right to at least one appeal so that justice is meted out fairly in any legal procedure, natural justice prevails and the right to life and liberty may be preserved. The power given to citizens, of revision and appeal, hold jurisprudential, philosophical and practical significance. This right may be used by anyone, the accused or acquitted as well as the one alleging the crimes. Here, we will discuss the provision of appeal, review and revision.
An appeal takes place when an appellant resorts to a superior (appellate) court to review the decision of an inferior (trial) court or administrative agency. A complaint to a higher court of an error or injustice committed by a lower court may correct or reverse that error or injustice. An appellant is the party who takes an appeal from one court jurisdiction to another.
On appeal, no new evidence is introduced. The higher court is limited to considering whether the lower court erred on a question of law or gave a decision plainly contrary to the evidence presented during trial. Common legal errors that may be grounds for appeal include the following:
> If an appellant’s constitutional rights were violated while evidence was being obtained, and that evidence was allowed during the trial process, this is considered inadmissible evidence. Allowing inadmissible evidence in a trial is a legal error and grounds for appeal.
> A lack of convincing evidence to support a guilty verdict.
> Mistakes made in the judge’s instructions to the jury before or during a trial.
There are two stages of an appeal in the federal and many state court systems. These stages include appeal from trial court to intermediate appellate court, and then from intermediate appellate court to Supreme Court. Unless special permission is granted by the higher court to hear an interlocutory (provisional) appeal, an appeal cannot be made until the lower court renders final judgment.
Revision is the act of examining again in order to remove any defect or grant relief against irregular or improper exercise or non-exercise of jurisdiction by a lower court. Revision is like re-working and re-writing. Revision means the action of revising, especially critical or careful examination or perusal with a view to correcting or improving.
In Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.), the provisions relating to appeal are contained in Sections 372 to 394, while provisions relating to revision are contained in Sections 397 to 405.
In Civil Procedure Code (CPC), the provisions relating to appeal are contained in Sections 96 to 112, while provisions relating to revision are contained in Section 115.
Section 115 authorizes the High Court to satisfy on three matters:
(i) That the order of the subordinate court is within jurisdiction.
(ii) That the case is one in which the court ought to exercises its jurisdiction;
(iii) that in exercising jurisdiction the court has not acted illegally, that is, in breach of some provision of the law, or with material irregularity, that is, by committing some error of procedure in the course of the trial which is material in that it may have affected the ultimate decision.
Distinction between Appeal and Revision:
1. An appeal lies to a superior court, which may not necessarily be a High Court; but an application for revision lays only the High Court.
2. An appeal lies only from appealable orders and decree, but an application for revision can be made only when the relief by way of appeal to the High Court is not available.
3. A right of appeal is a substantive right given by statute. There is no right of revision. It is only a privilege. A party may move the High Court to invoke its revisional jurisdiction or the High Court may of its own motion exercise revisional jurisdiction, but the power is discretionary.
4. An appeal abates if the legal representatives of a deceased party are not brought on the record within the time allowed by law. A revision does not abate in case of the death of a party even if the legal representatives are not brought on the record. The High Court has a right to bring the proper parties before the Court at any time.
5. The grounds of appeal and revision are different. An application in revision can lie only on the ground of jurisdiction, and the High Court in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction is not a court of appeal on a question of law or fact. In an appeal the court has the power to decide both questions of fact and law.
6. Section 115 does not require that there should be an application in revision. The High Court can move of its own accord in exercising revisional jurisdiction. In case of appeal there must be a memorandum of appeal filed before the same can be considered by the appellate court.
7. An essential distinction between an appeal and a revision is based on differences implicit in the said two expressions. An appeal is continuation of the proceedings. In effect, the entire proceedings are before the appellate authority and it has power to review the evidence subject to the statutory limitations prescribed. But in the case of a revision, whatever powers the revisional authority may or may not have; it has not the power to review the evidence unless the statute expressly confers on it that power. (State of Kerala v. K.M. Charia Abdidla & Co., A.I.R. 1965 S.C. 1585).
It is pertinent to point out that in the case of Hari Shanker v. Rao Girdhari Lal Chowdhury, AIR 1963 SC 698 : 1962 Supp (1) SCR 933, the Supreme Court highlighted the distinction between appeal and revision as under:
“The distinction between an appeal and a revision is a real one. A right of appeal carries with it a right of rehearing on law as well as fact, unless the statute conferring the right of appeal limits the rehearing in some way as, we find, has been done in second appeals arising under the Code of Civil Procedure. The power to hear a revision is generally given to a superior court so that it may satisfy itself that a particular case has been decided according to law.”
Review means to reconsider, to look again or to re-examine. In legal sense, it is a judicial re-examination of the case by the same court and by the same Judge.
Circumstances for Reviews
A) No Right of appeal is allowed
Where no right of appeal is allowed to an aggrieved party, he can file a review application. When an appeal is dismissed on the ground that it was incompetent or was time –barred, the provisions of review would get attracted.
B) Right of appeal lies but not availed.
A review petition is also maintainable in cases where appeal is provided but no such appeal is preferred by the aggrieved party. An application for review can be presented so long as no appeal is preferred against the order.
Grounds for review
(i) Discovery of new and important matter or evidence.
(ii) Mistake or error
(iii) Other sufficient reason.
The other sufficient reason has not been defined in the Code. There are the reasons which has been observed in the number of cases are following;-
(a) Where the statement of the judge is not correct.
(b) The decree or order has been passed under a misapprehension of the true state of circumstances.
(c) Where a party had no notice or fair opportunity to produce his evidence.
Distinction between Revision and Review
1. The power of revision is exercised by the court superior to the court which decided the case but the power of review is exercised by the very court which passed the decree or order.
2. The power of revision is conferred on the High Court only, which is not so in the case of review. Any court can review its judgment.
3. Revisional powers by the High Court can be exercised only in a case when there is no appeal to the High Court, but review can be made even when appeal lies to the High Court therein.
4. The grounds on which the powers of revision and review can be exercised are different. The ground for revision relates to jurisdiction, viz., want of jurisdiction, failure to exercise a jurisdiction, or illegal or irregular exercise of jurisdiction, while the ground of review may be
(a) The discovery of new and important matter or evidence,
(b) Some apparent mistake or error on the face of the record, or (c) any other sufficient reason.
5. In revision the High Court can, of its own accord, send for the case, but for review an application has to be made by the aggrieved party.
6. No appeal lies from an order made in the exercise of revisional jurisdiction, but the order granting review is appealable.
In words of Donna Brazile, the law is only our best approximate of justice, and the law needs constant revision. A good, sympathetic review is always a wonderful experience. So to achieve the reverence of life appeal, revision and review plays significant roles respectively.