An ‘Aggrieved’ Third Party Can File Review Petition, Holds SC [Read Judgement]

An ‘Aggrieved’ Third Party Can File Review Petition, Holds SC [Read Judgement]

“We have no hesitation in enunciating that even a third party to the proceedings, if he considers himself an aggrieved person, may take recourse to the remedy of review petition. The quintessence is that the person should be aggrieved by the judgment and order passed by this Court in some respect.”

The Supreme Court has observed that even a third party to the proceedings, if he considers himself an aggrieved person may take recourse to the remedy of review petition.

The bench comprising Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice AM Khanwilkar observed thus while disposing a review petition filed by Union of India against a 2011 judgment in National Textile Corporation Ltd. Versus Nareshkumar Badrikumar Jagad.

The Supreme Court in 2011 had confirmed the decree of eviction passed against National Textiles Corporation in favour of Trustees of Seth Harichand Rupchand Charitable Trust. Union of India was not party to the said proceedings.

The contention taken by the Union of India was that Validation Act of 2014 has completely altered the status of the parties retrospectively qua the suit property with effect from 1st April, 1994 by a legal fiction, as a result of which the cause of action against NTC as referred to in the subject suit had become nonexistent; and including any decree or order passed against NTC or for that matter, an undertaking filed by NTC in any court or tribunal or authority has been rendered unenforceable by operation of law and cannot be continued or taken forward.

Answering the question of locus of a third party to the proceedings to file a review petition, the bench said: “Section 114 of the Code of Civil Procedure (“CPC”) which, inter alia, postulates that “any person considering himself aggrieved” would have locus to file a review petition. Order XLVII of CPC restates the position that any person considering himself aggrieved can file a review petition. Be that as it may, the Supreme Court exercises review jurisdiction by virtue of Article 137 of the Constitution which predicates that the Supreme Court shall have the power to review any judgment pronounced or order made by it. Besides, the Supreme Court has framed Rules to govern review petitions. Notably, neither Order XLVII of CPC nor Order XLVII of the Supreme Court Rules limits the remedy of review only to the parties to the judgment under review. Therefore, we have no hesitation in enunciating that even a third party to the proceedings, if he considers himself an aggrieved person, may take recourse to the remedy of review petition. The quintessence is that the person should be aggrieved by the judgment and order passed by this Court in some respect. “

The bench then considered and disposed the review petition with liberty to the Trust to pursue other appropriate legal remedy as per law. It said: “We hold that as per the amended Section 3 of the 1995 Act w.e.f. 1st April, 1994, by operation of law the statutory or protected tenancy rights of Podar Mills Ltd. in respect of the suit property stood transferred to and vested in the Central Government and it continues to so vest in it and that the decree against NTC including the undertaking given by NTC has been rendered unenforceable by a legal fiction. As a result, the Trust being the landlord is obliged to take recourse to remedy against the Central Government (Union of India) to get back possession of the suit property, as per the dispensation specified in the concerned Rent Legislation, if it so desires. It is open to the respondents (Trust) to challenge the validity of the Validation Act 2014, if they so desire.”

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