Thursday 3 February 2022

Whether a court can recall an order passed by it by mistake?

  It can thus be seen that three Supreme Court cases cited, negative inherent powers under Section 151 of the Civil P. C. in the face of specific provisions in C. P. C. while one case lays down that powers under Section 151 C. P. C. cannot be invoked for interference with substantive rights of the parties. There is no specific provision in C. P. C. enabling the Court to recall an earlier order which is the result of mistake committed by Court. No question of interference with substantive rights arises. The question involved in the present case is very much procedural. Only be cause some rights are wrongly presumed in favour of a party, it cannot be said that the case involves a question of substantive rights. {Para 11}

12. (D) Even otherwise and apart from the provisions of Section 151 C.P.C. every Court of record has got inherent powers to correct its own mistakes. If an authority is needed for this proposition one can find it in Raja Debi Bakhsh Singh v. Habib Shah (1913-40 Ind App 151). this was an appeal before Privy Council from the judgment and decree passed by the Judicial Commissioner, Oudh. Due to mistake of court orders and rules applicable to a defaulter were applied to a dead man Privy Council was of the opinion that the case was covered by provisions of Section 151 of the C.P.C. but while expressing such an opinion their Lordships further observed:--

"Lordships opined that such abuse has occurred by the course adopted in the Court of the Judicial Commissioner. Quite apart from Section 155, any Court might have rightly considered itself to possess an inherent power to rectify the mistake which had been inadvertently made".

To similar effect are the observations of the Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court in the case of Jodha Singh v. Padey Gokaram Das (AIR 1925 All 622) where it was held:---

"That the order of the Court was wrong and that the court was right in setting it aside when the mistake was brought to its notice by the party."

Bombay High Court
Gangabai And Ors. vs Ratan Kumar And Ors. on 25 August, 1982
Equivalent citations: AIR 1983 Bom 291
Bench: Padhye

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