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No Party Could Be Left Remediless: SC Upholds HC Order Reviewing Its Earlier Judgment Rendered Without Noticing Statutory Provision [Read Judgment]

Ashok Kini
4 July 2019 12:51 PM GMT
No Party Could Be Left Remediless: SC Upholds HC Order Reviewing Its Earlier Judgment Rendered Without Noticing Statutory Provision [Read Judgment]
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No party could be left remediless, said the Supreme Court while upholding a Calcutta High Court which reviewed its earlier judgment rendered without noticing a statutory provision.Section 293 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 put a complete bar of filing suit in any civil court against the revenue/income tax authority. Without noticing this provision, the single bench relegated...

No party could be left remediless, said the Supreme Court while upholding a Calcutta High Court which reviewed its earlier judgment rendered without noticing a statutory provision.

Section 293 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 put a complete bar of filing suit in any civil court against the revenue/income tax authority. Without noticing this provision, the single bench relegated the parties (which includes Income Tax Authorities) to the District Court. The division bench of the High court granted liberty to file a fresh civil suit in respect of the subject property.

Later the High Court entertained a review petition and restored the writ petition on file. This order was challenged before the Apex Court in Sunil Vasudeva vs.Sundar Gupta.

The bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Ajay Rastogi, while dismissing the appeal:

If the civil suit was not maintainable as alleged in view of Section 293 of the Income Tax Act and this was the purported defence of the respondents and of the Income Tax Department and consequential effect to the Order 21 dated 8th September, 1965 of which a reference has been made by us, no party could be left remediless and whatever the grievance the party has raised before the Court of law, has to be examined on its own merits.

The bench also referred to principles enunciated in Kamlesh Verma Vs. Mayawati wherein it was held:

(i) When the review will be maintainable: Discovery of new and important matter or evidence which, after the exercise of due diligence, was not within knowledge of the petitioner or could not be produced by him; (ii) Mistake or error apparent on the face of the record; (iii) Any other sufficient reason.

(ii) When the review will not be maintainable: (i) A repetition of old and overruled argument is not enough to reopen concluded adjudications. (ii) Minor mistakes of inconsequential import. (iii) Review proceedings cannot be equated with the original hearing of the case. (iv) Review is not maintainable unless the material error, manifest on the face of the order, undermines its soundness or results in miscarriage of justice. (v) A review is by no means an appeal in disguise whereby an erroneous decision is reheard and corrected but lies only for patent error. (vi) The mere possibility of two views on the subject cannot be a ground for review. (vii) The error apparent on the face of the record should not be an error which has to be fished out and searched. (viii) The appreciation of evidence on record is fully within the domain of the appellate court, it cannot be permitted to be advanced in the review petition. (ix) Review is not maintainable when the same relief sought at the time of arguing the main matter had been negatived.

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