How will the higher Court know why review jurisdiction was exercised? Courts must mention what was that error apparent on the face of the record: SC 

Supreme Court: In the case where the division bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court allowed a review petition by merely stating that “it is noticed that there is apparent error on the face of record which calls for interference”, the bench of MR Shah* and BV Nagarathna, JJ observed that there must be a speaking and reasoned order as to what was that error apparent on the face of the record, which called for interference and therefore a reasoned order is required to be passed.

“Unless such reasons are given and unless what was that error apparent on the face of the record is stated and mentioned in the order, the higher forum would not be in a position to know what has weighed with the Court while exercising the review jurisdiction and what was that error apparent on the face of the record.”

The Court held that the impugned order allowing the review application was a cryptic, nonreasoned and non-speaking order as nothing been mentioned and/or observed as to what was that error apparent on the face of the record which called for interference. Holding it to be unsustainable in law, the Court remanded the matter to the Division Bench of the High Court to decide the review application afresh, in accordance with law and on its own merits and within the parameters of the review jurisdiction and to pass a speaking and reasoned order within 3 months.

The Court observed,

“It cannot be disputed that the review jurisdiction can be exercised only in a case where it is found that there is an error apparent on the face of the record and not otherwise. Therefore, while exercising the review jurisdiction, the Court has to first satisfy itself on any error apparent on the face of the record which calls for exercise of the review jurisdiction. Merely stating that there is an error apparent on the face of the record is not sufficient. It must be demonstrated that in fact there was an error apparent on the face of the record.”

[Ratan Pal Singh v. Dr. Hari Singh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 340, decided on 22.03.2022]

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