Revision means “to revise” or “to look again”. Hence, an act of revising or revisiting any order with a view to correct or improves is called “Revision”. Revisional power is one of the powers conferred by the statute to the High Court to revise an order or judgment delivered by its subordinate court where necessary. Civil revision is a new outlook towards legal resolution. However, it may or may not result in any amendment. It is a discretionary power of the High Court granted under Code of Civil procedure. Under this power High Court neither enters into the merits of the evidence nor can admit additional evidence.

The objective is to keep check on the subordinate courts from acting arbitrarily, capriciously and illegally or irregularly in the exercise of their jurisdiction. It provides the High Court with the powers necessary to see that the proceedings of the subordinate courts are conducted in accordance with the law within the bounds of their jurisdiction and in furtherance of justice.

Provision under Code of Civil Procedure:

Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides for the Revisional jurisdiction of the High Court. It empowers the High Court to call for record of any case which has been decided by its subordinate court and in which case no appeal lies. However, The Court has to keep in mind that:

  1. The High Court need not vary or reverse any order delivered by the subordinate court except when the order is made in favour of the party applying for revision would have finally disposed of the suit or other proceeding.
  2. A revision should not operate as a stay of suit or other proceeding before the court except where such suit or proceeding is stayed by the High Court.
  3. The High Court need not vary or reverse any order delivered by the subordinate court except when the order if allowed to stand would result in failure of justice or cause irreparable injury to the party against whom it was made.

Who can file Revision Petition?       

  1. Any aggrieved party may file an application to the High Court.
  2. The High Court may exercise its power suo moto i.e. itself call for the record of a subordinate court under its jurisdiction.
  3. An application from a person who has no locus standi may be treated as information to induce the High Court to act suo moto.

What are the conditions required for Civil Revision?

Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides the conditions required when the High Court can exercise its Revisional jurisdiction:

  1. The case must be concluded by the Court.
  2. The court delivering the order must be subordinate to the High Court.
  3. The case should be of such nature where appeal cannot be applied to the appellate court against order of the subordinate court.
  4. The subordinate court has decided such case by:
  5. The exercise of jurisdiction which is not vested to that court by law.
  6. When it has failed to exercise the vested jurisdiction by law.
  7. It has acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegal or with material irregularity.

Landmark Judgments-

  1. In the case of Amir Hassan Khan v/s Sheo Baksh Singh [(1884) 11 IA 237]-The Hon’ble Privy Council while interpreting the words “or to have acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity” observed that it appears that the Lower Courts had perfect jurisdiction to decide the question which was before them and they did decide it. Whether they decided it rightly or wrongly, they had jurisdiction to decide the case and even if they decided wrongly, they did not exercise their jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.


  1. In the case of Balakrishna Udayar v/s vasudeva Aiyar (AIR 1917 PC 71)-It was observed by the Hon’ble Privy Council that the section applies to jurisdiction alone, the irregular exercise or non-exercise of it or the illegal assumption of it. The Section is not directed against conclusions of law or fact in which the question of jurisdiction is not involved.


  1. In the case of Durga Devi v/s Vijay Kumar Poddar & Ors [2010(2) PLJR 954]-The Hon’ble High Court of Patna held that if the order in favour of the party applying for revision would have given finality to a suit or other proceedings and the answer is “Yes”, then the revision would be maintainable and if the answer is negative in nature, then the revision is not maintainable.


  1. In the case of Major S. S. Khanna v/s Brig. FJ. Dhillon[AIR 1964 SC 497]– It was held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that an interlocutory order holding that the plaintiffs suit for the recovery of money advanced to the defendant was not maintainable must be regarded as a case which has been decided. It has further been held that there is no such restriction placed upon the power of the High Court in the exercise of Revisional jurisdiction as would limit the exercise of that power only to cases where no appeal is competent from the final order passed in the suit or proceeding.


  1. In the case of L.F Housing & Construction v/s Sarup Singh [AIR 1971 SC 2324]- It was observed that the mass of reported cases only serve to show that the High Courts do not always appreciates the limits of their jurisdiction under this section. The Hon’ble Supreme Court upheld that this section is not directed against the conclusions of law or fact in which the question of jurisdiction is not involved.


Associate at Aggarwals & Associates, S.A.S. Nagar, Mohali


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