Friday, 10 September 2021

Against which orders court can entertain criminal revision?

 There are three categories of orders that a court can pass—final, intermediate and interlocutory. There is no doubt that in respect of a final order, a court can exercise its revision jurisdiction—that is in respect of a final order of acquittal or conviction. There is equally no doubt that in respect of an interlocutory order, the court cannot exercise its revision jurisdiction. As far as an intermediate order is concerned, the court can exercise its revision jurisdiction since it is not an interlocutory order.{Para 16}

21. The concept of an intermediate order was further elucidated in Madhu Limaye v. State of Maharashtra [Madhu Limaye v. State of Maharashtra, (1977) 4 SCC 551 : 1978 SCC (Cri) 10] by contradistinguishing a final order and an interlocutory order. This decision lays down the principle that an intermediate order is one which is interlocutory in nature but when reversed, it has the effect of terminating the proceedings and thereby resulting in a final order. Two such intermediate orders immediately come to mind—an order taking cognizance of an offence and summoning an accused and an order for framing charges. Prima facie these orders are interlocutory in nature, but when an order taking cognizance and summoning an accused is reversed, it has the effect of terminating the proceedings against that person resulting in a final order in his or her favour. Similarly, an order for framing of charges if reversed has the effect of discharging the accused person and resulting in a final order in his or her favour. Therefore, an intermediate order is one which if passed in a certain way, the proceedings would terminate but if passed in another way, the proceedings would continue.

24. The second reason why Amar Nath [Amar Nath v. State of Haryana, (1977) 4 SCC 137 : 1977 SCC (Cri) 585] is important is that it invokes the principle, in the context of criminal law, that what cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly. Therefore, when Section 397(2) CrPC prohibits interference in respect of interlocutory orders, Section 482 CrPC cannot be availed of to achieve the same objective. In other words, since Section 397(2) CrPC prohibits interference with interlocutory orders, it would not be permissible to resort to Section 482 CrPC to set aside an interlocutory order. This is what this Court held : (SCC p. 140, para 3)

3. While we fully agree with the view taken by the learned Judge that where a revision to the High Court against the order of the Subordinate Judge is expressly barred under sub-section (2) of Section 397 of the 1973 Code the inherent powers contained in Section 482 would not be available to defeat the bar contained in Section 397(2). Section 482 of the 1973 Code contains the inherent powers of the Court and does not confer any new powers but preserves the powers which the High Court already possessed. A harmonious construction of Sections 397 and 482 would lead to the irresistible conclusion that where a particular order is expressly barred under Section 397(2) and cannot be the subject of revision by the High Court, then to such a case the provisions of Section 482 would not apply. It is well settled that the inherent powers of the Court can ordinarily be exercised when there is no express provision on the subject-matter. Where there is an express provision, barring a particular remedy, the Court cannot resort to the exercise of inherent powers.”

Supreme Court of India
Girish Kumar Suneja vs Cbi on 13 July, 2017

Author: M B Lokur
Citation: (2017) 14 SCC 809 : (2018) 1 SCC (Cri) 202 : 2017 SCC OnLine SC 766 at page 829
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