CURATIVE PETITION – A CONSTITUTIONAL REMEDY

INTRODUCTION

The last constitutional remedy which is available to a common man in the Supreme Court of India is considered to be the Curative Petition. The concept of Curative Petition was first taken into consideration in 2002 by the Supreme Court of India in Rupa Ashok Hurra vs. Ashok Hurra & Anr[1]. In this case, the question was raised that whether the aggrieved party is entitled to get relief after the review petition is dismissed by the Supreme Court. Article 137 of the Indian Constitution has given the Supreme Court power to review its judgement to prevent and cure miscarriage of law.

MEANING OF CURATIVE PETITION

A Curative Petition is referred to as a plea that can be filed in the Supreme Court of India after the dismissal of the review petition. This petition can be filed to undo a wrong that is done to a party by any act of the court while giving its review judgement. In the recent past, the curative petition was in news during the case of Mukesh and Anrs vs, NCT Delhi[2], which is also known as the Nirbhaya Case. In this case two of the convicted persons filed a curative petition after their mercy petition was rejected by the President of India. The six judge bench dismissed the petition by saying that “The application for an oral hearing is rejected. We have gone through the curative petition and the relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out…Hence the curative petition is dismissed.”

PROCEDURE OF CURATIVE PETITION

Under Article 137 of the Indian Constitution, the Supreme Court is given the power to review its judgment. The curative petition is a way in which the Supreme Court of India can review its judgment and it can be presented in the court by the following procedure:

  1. The first step is that the petitioner has to prove that there was an infringement of his fundamental rights, and the previous judgment was made in violation of the principles of natural justice.
  2. The petitioner has to mention the grounds which have been taken in the review petition and that were dismissed by motion.
  3. The petition should be certified by the senior advocate certifying that the case is covered in terms of the guidelines laid down in the case of Rupa Ashok Hurra.
  4. Then the petition is sent to the three seniors most judges of the Supreme Court and to the judges who gave the previous judgement.
  5. So, if the majority of the judges agree that the case should be taken for hearing then the case is heard by the same bench.
  6. The bench while considering the curative petition can ask for help from the senior counsel as a friend of the court.

The curative should be taken on the rarest of the rarest occasions.

REJECTION OF CURATIVE PETITION

The curative petition can be rejected on the ground that it lacks merits, and the Supreme Court can impose a fine on the petitioner if it is not according to the guidelines mentioned.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF CURATIVE PETITION

ADVANTAGES:-

  1. It is a highly effective tool to deal with the possible prejudice of the judges and the Indian Judicial system.
  2. The misapprehensions that may creep in while following the due procedure of pronouncing the verdict are kept at bay.
  3. Curative Petition opens a new road that provides the opportunity of being heard which was not present before the advent of this useful tool.

DISADVANTAGES:-

  1. As the Curative Petition involves an extra stage in all of its cases, it adds to the burden of the already overburdened Judicial System and thus delays the already super slow delivery of Justice.
  2. A curative petition goes head to head against the exclusive rights and privileges of the Supreme Court of India and therefore puts a question mark on its integrity.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REVIEW PETITION AND A CURATIVE PETITION

The main difference between a review petition and a curative petition is that a review petition is a judicial re-examination of a case, the court can reconsider its verdict if they think that there was an error committed while giving the judgment. The curative petition is considered to be the last resort even after the review petition and it is taken by the Supreme Court on the rarest occasions and when they are satisfied that there was a violation of the principle of natural justice.

CASE LAWS

  • Naz Foundation Trust vs. Suresh Kumar Kaushal[3]

In this case, the judges S.A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan gave the judgment by saying that it is not always necessary to examine the merits of the case given by the bar. The thing that is to be taken note of is the curative petition was brought before the CJI, since the issues were of significant importance and public interest, the curative was presented before the CJI, to be listed before the appropriate bench.

  • B.I vs. Keshub Mahindra[4]

In this case, the court said the curative petition should be filed within a rational time and dismissed the case by saying that no acceptable reason has been given in the petition clarifying the reason why it took 14 years for the petitioners to implore the last available resort and file the curative petition.

  • Navneet Kaur vs. State NCT of Delhi[5]

In this case, the curative was allowed by the Supreme Court. Navneet Kaur w/o Devender Pal Singh filed a petition against the dismissal of the review petition in which she prayed for setting aside the death sentence imposed on her husband on the grounds of the supervening circumstance of delay of 8 years in the disposal of mercy petition. The court diluted the punishment from a death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground of inordinate delay of 8 years in the disposal of mercy petition and on the ground of insanity.

CONCLUSION

A curative petition is considered to be a new concept in the Indian Judiciary and considered the last chance for a person to avoid punishment. The curative petition is considered to be an error-correcting facility for the judges. But as per the number of cases pending in the country, it can also consider a dropback because it would become a part of delaying justice.

Author(s) Name: Kanwarnoor Singh Sethi (Khalsa College of Law, Amritsar )

References:

[1]Rupa Ashok Hurra V. Ashok Hurra and Anr, (2002) 4 SCC 388

[2] Mukesh & Anr v. State for NCT of Delhi & Ors, (2017) 6 SCC 1

[3] Naz Foundation Trust Vs. Suresh Kumar Koushal and Others, (2016) 7 SCC 485 

[4] Central Bureau of Investigation and Ors Vs. Keshub Mahindra and Ors., (2011) 6 SCC 216

[5] Navneet Kaur v. State (N.CT of Delhi), (2014) 7 SCC 264.

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